27 kids rushed to hospital after carbon monoxide leak at daycare in Allentown, officials say

More than two dozen kids were hospitalized Tuesday morning following a carbon monoxide leak at a daycare in Allentown. 

Emergency crews responded to the Happy Smiles Learning Center on Wabash Street just before 7 a.m. for reports of high levels of carbon monoxide. 

Officials say 27 children - ranging in age from several months from 10-years-old - were taken to four different hospitals. Five adults were also hospitalized. 

Doctors say "several" patients were unresponsive while arriving at the hospital, others experienced headache, dizziness and nausea.


"All the patients had elevated levels of CO in their blood," a statement from Dr. Andrew Miller at Lehigh Valley Health Network said. "The levels ranged from 3 to 10 times higher than what’s deemed normal."

All the patients, according to Dr. Miller, were treated with 100% oxygen for at least four to six hours while their carbon monoxide levels were closely monitored. Patients with higher levels of carbon monoxide were transferred to UPenn Hospital and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for treatment with hyperbaric oxygen.

"It is important to provide quick treatment to replace the CO in the blood with oxygen as excessive inhalation of CO is associated with acute and long-term consequences, including damage to the brain and heart, which require a lot of oxygen," Dr. Miller's statement said. 

The center's last state inspection was conducted late last year, and state records show the only problem found was a door that remained locked when the fire alarm sounded. That was soon repaired, and no sanctions were issued.