Recently, I was visiting a friend in New Mexico; it’s Chile roasting time you know and Hatch, New Mexico is known for its famous Green Chile. You cannot replicate the amazing aroma that delicately covers the air this time of year–it’s an utter kick of roasted spiciness; you might say it’s pepper heaven.
If you are not aware…TEENS ARE OBSESSED with their PHONES! This obsession leads to creative ways to charge their phones during power outages. And where can you charge a phone during a power outage? Why not in the car that is parked in the GARAGE. So turn the car on and YES–the charging of phone is happening! Well, I hope you foresee the danger here, as my friend’s dear niece did not.
Fortunately, my little guy pooped (he’s potty trained, but refuses to submit number two into the toilet!) and because of that (the need to toss the poop), I walked into the garage and BAM! The scent of fumes engulfs me, and I’m pretty confused why the car is on.
Of course, I begin screaming, “The cars on! The cars on!”
Seconds later, my friend begins yelling for her niece: “WHERE’S BELLA?”
Who is in the car…charging her phone. Bella could not understand why the adults were frantic and running around in a crazed state shouting: “Get out of the garage! Get out of the house EVERYONE!!!”
Needless to say, later that evening we discussed carbon monoxide poisoning with all the kids. And since this incident, I’ve learned many teenagers are not aware of this danger–even though they’re of the driving age. I’ve even questioned my daughter hoping I, the parent, had somehow mentioned this fact. Apparently, I had not.
She simply responded, “I learned it from Army Wives.“
Army Wives, well a very big thank you Lifetime Movie Channel!
Bella is fortunate, but other teens have not been as lucky. In January 2016, Alex Bedolla died from carbon monoxide poisoning while working on his car’s stereo system. Unfortunately, his car was turned on while the garage was closed. I cannot imagine his family returning home. His death is one too many. I’m hoping this story is a gentle reminder to discuss this hazard with our children.
Life poses many threats for our kids. As parents, we do our best to make sure they’re safe; yet, it’s pretty challenging to run a checklist of every danger. As a community, we can certainly help to influence the awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning. Please, please don’t assume your child will learn this in school. Share this story and talk to your children. I hope to never hear of another child meeting this fate. Let’s keep them safe and on the journey called life.
And what about the 20 lb bag of Green Chili? My stash of Green Gold? Me, leave New Mexico without my bit of pepper heaven–not a chance! You bet I returned home with my treasure, and I smelt the wonderful aroma the entire drive home.