House Health Committee approves bill to require carbon monoxide alarms in Pa. child care facilities

HARRISBURG, March 29 – State Rep. Jeanne McNeill announced today that her bill to protect kids from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in Pennsylvania’s child care facilities has been reported out by the House Health Committee, 17-4.

According to McNeill, hundreds of Americans die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning, with an estimated 50,000 sent to the emergency room annually from accidental exposure.

“It is alarming that there are no statewide carbon monoxide alarm requirements in place for the facilities that care for children,” McNeill said. “Given the invisible signs of carbon monoxide -- headaches, dizziness and nausea – many people experience it without being aware that they are suffering from a leak. This can cause permanent health effects and even death for young kids who may not be able to explain or even understand the source of their discomfort. This is a sensible safety precaution that needs to be implemented.”

If passed by the General Assembly, the bill would mandate the installation of one or more carbon monoxide alarms, depending on the size of the building, in buildings that house child care facilities and have potential sources of carbon monoxide.

“In October 2022, a tragic incident occurred right here in an Allentown daycare center, forcing more than two dozen kids and the adults who were caring for them to be hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning. Passing my bill would help ensure that this never happens to another child or day care provider again,” McNeill said.

The legislation is supported by more than two dozen bipartisan co-sponsors. H.B. 494 now heads to the full House for consideration. McNeill had introduced the same measure last year, but it languished in the Health Committee under Republican leadership.

“It is my hope that the legislature, as a whole, votes in favor of protecting the youngest and most vulnerable part of our population,” McNeill said.