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Editorial: Ventilate ice houses properly

With the apparent death of a woman and hospitalization of four others due to carbon monoxide poisoning while ice fishing over the weekend near the Minnesota-Iowa border, it is a good reminder to make sure that people have heaters checked and ventilated properly when ice fishing.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, each year in the state — especially in winter — unintentional carbon monoxide poisonings result in emergency department visits, hospitalizations and even deaths.

From 1999 to 2010, a total of 5,149 people died from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning in the U.S. alone — which equates to about 430 people per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The average annual death rate from carbon monoxide poisoning was more than three times higher for males than it was for females.

The rates overall were higher for men 65 and older and

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can accumulate to dangerous levels in areas not well ventilated. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include a headache, dizziness, nausea,vomiting, confusion and tiredness.

We encourage people to bring a carbon monoxide detector with you if you plan to be in an ice house for extended periods of time.