(photo credit: Yehoshua Halevi)
As families celebrate the joyous festival of lights, Hanukka, starting Tuesday
night, take care not to be hurt: The number of burns injuries triple during the
eight-day holiday compared to ordinary days.
Beterem, the Israel National
Center for Child Safety and Health, said Sunday that 55 percent of fires in
Western countries are caused by candles left burning without supervision and
near flammable materials.
Beterem director Orly Silbinger said that
boiling- hot cooking oil, used to fry traditional Hanukka foods, means that
burns are even riskier.
Children under the age of five are the most
likely to suffer skin burns at this season. The younger and smaller the child,
the more dangerous the accidental burn is, as it covers a higher percentage of
Parents are advised not to leave matches and burning candles –
which tends to hypnotize children – in reach of children, without an adult’s
supervision. Remove the matches immediately after the candles are lit, said
Beterem. Make sure not to leave lit candles where curtains can be pushed by air
into them. Also, do not give chocolate “coins” or small spinning tops to
children aged three years and younger.
Burn victims last year included a
six-month-old baby and a three-year-old boy who were burnt when a fire broke out
in their home; another was a toddler who sat on the table where the hanukkia was
standing and played with a match; her hair was set fire, causing her serious
A Beterem survey showed that a third of parents leave the hanukkia
in a dangerous place, such as on a tablecloth, close to the edge of a table or
kitchen counter or on a tray on the floor of the living room.
of 499 adults – more than half of them parents or grandparents of children up to
the age of nine – found that parents nevertheless had high awareness of the need
not to allow children under nine to light candles alone.