Carbon monoxide scare at daycare caused by something else no one expected 

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MIDDLETON, Idaho – Officials said they thought a carbon monoxide leak was the culprit making children and workers nauseous, giving them headaches and dilated pupils but it turned out to be something else no one expected.

First responders told KTVB they learned the situation wasn’t as scary as they feared when they arrived at “Our Kids Daycare” Tuesday; it was not a carbon monoxide leak but something else.

Courtesy: KTVB

Courtesy: KTVB

They said this incident has raised some concerns over the unexpected culprit.

Our Kids Daycare manager Robin Hagaman told KTVB that 12 toddlers went down for a short nap at about 11:30 a.m. and when they woke up, a teacher saw the children’s pupils were huge.

Hagaman said staff immediately moved the children to the other side of the building and opened all the doors to ventilate the daycare.

She said the children became very hyperactive and then “crashed.”

The staff complained of headaches and nausea.

Fire crews checked the building with meters and could not find any elevated levels of carbon monoxide.

So what caused those in the daycare to have these symptoms?

Fire officials told KTVB they believe essential oils being diffused in the back room during nap time caused the concerning reactions.

Courtesy: KTVB

Courtesy: KTVB

“We’ve got some essential oils to kind of help with the different smells in the room of toddlers and to help with the viruses that are going around and stuff,” Hagaman told KTVB. “We had it up here on top of the little shelf and it was going pretty steady.”

Officials said the main ingredient in these oils was cinnamon and that the oils were too potent at that level.

“They’re thinking that it had no place to go and so it just built up, and built up, and built up,” Hagaman told KTVB. “They’re thinking we may have put too many drops in it and ran it too long.”

KTVB said, according to essential oil safety guidelines, the oils are a very concentrated combination of multiple chemical ingredients and users must dilute certain oils in order for them to be safe and effective.

See the full story from KTVB here.


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  • Desi

    If you are going to delve into using essential oils, please consult with an actual person that has had traing and/or done actual (not just internet) research on them. Especially if you are using them around children! Massage therapists are a great resource!

    • bob

      You shouldn’t introduce anything into your lungs that requires “training.” That ought to be your first clue.

      • MarcyDan

        Do you read the instructions on meds the doc gives you? Do you learn how to give shots for insulin? Yes.
        When using Essential Oils (I’m not a hippy) you should read up and know what oils to use for what ailment.
        Just like you shouldn’t take 5 Motrin at one time or several times daily – you should only use a few drops of Essential Oils and some for only 30 minutes at a time – not all day in a closed area with children!
        Bless your heart….

  • bob

    Consider the logic. Hippies will give you a long list of things that are “bad for you”. Smog, cage-fed eggs, milk from antibiotic-raised cows, pesticides, plastic….it’s endless.

    But they’ll happily breath a concoction of chemicals and carcinogens if it’s marketed the right way. (Or if it’s pot.)

    • C

      If the essential oils are pure, they don’t have chemicals! That’s why they are safer than other types of air freshener sprays.
      I use essential oils but take great precaution because I have a toddler.
      I think the daycare should let parents know beforehand that they will be using the oils. I think a lack of proper ventilation also sounds like an issue here. You aren’t supposed to let a diffuser run all day either.

  • laytonian

    Stop with the silly “essential” oils. They are NOT essential (as in needed). It’s just another term for “scented” AND they are no better than anything else. Anyone stupid enough to use something like that in a commercial facility around children should lose their license. You should use NO product that has not been deemed medically-safe.

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