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APPCOG Launches Carbon Monoxide Safety At Festivals Campaign in Parliament

APPCOG Launches Carbon Monoxide Safety At Festivals Campaign in Parliament

8th June 2018

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Carbon Monoxide (APPCOG) this week launched its campaign to stop festival goers accidentally poisoning themselves by bringing their barbeques into their tent this summer.

In a Parliamentary setting complete with a tent and disposable barbeque, MPs, festival organisers, healthcare professionals and colleagues from across the carbon monoxide community came together to discuss and raise awareness of this important issue. Guests heard from APPCOG Co-Chair, Barry Sheerman MP, Royal College of Nursing Professional Lead for Acute, Emergency and Critical Care, Dr Nichola Ashby, and the Managing Director of Festival Republic, Melvin Benn and took photos with the campaign's #campCOsafe messaging. Discussion ranged from the economic and cultural contributions of festivals, the medical challenges of diagnosing carbon monoxide poisoning, and crucially, how importan to raise awareness of the dangers of bringing a barbeque or has cooking appliance into an enclosed space.

Barry Sheerman MP said of the campaign:

“We all want festivals to be fun and safe places for everyone. However, few revellers understand the risks carbon monoxide poses to campers inside their tents.  Even when a barbeque is extinguished, it still gives off poisonous carbon monoxide at very high levels – in an enclosed space like a tent it can quickly be deadly.  So enjoy your barbeque outside but no camper should ever bring a barbeque inside a tent with them. Festival goers should make sure that they know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and seek treatment immediately if they suspect themselves or anyone else has been poisoned - particularly as the signs can be similar to a hangover.”

 In a call to action for medical professionsals and festival goers, Dr Nichola Ashby advised: 

“Recognising carbon monoxide poisoning presents real challenges to nurses and other healthcare staff at the best of times.  But it’s particularly difficult at festivals, because the symptoms people experience – dizziness, nausea, headaches and in some cases loss of consciousness – can easily be mistaken for a hangover by friends and clinical staff. However, it is important that carbon monoxide poisoning isn’t missed.

“Our message is that if you just ‘don’t feel right’ and you are near a barbecue or generator exhaust, move away, breathe in fresh air and seek clinical help, saying that you think you have been poisoned by carbon monoxide. Parents camping with families at music events need to realise that the impact of carbon monoxide on young children can occur more quickly than in adults. And all healthcare staff and volunteers on duty at festivals need to be fully aware of the symptoms and dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.  We need much greater awareness that carbon monoxide isn’t just a danger in the home, but can also have a serious impact at outdoor events such as festivals”.