Purim celebrants in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
With the stores full of Purim costumes, toy guns and food packages for giving away when the happy festival is observed next week, parents may be unaware that some items could endanger their children.
Magen David Adom and experts at Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva recommend several things to watch out for as the number of injured youngsters rises sharply before and during the holiday.
Prof. Yehezkel Weissman, the hospital’s emergency department head, warned parents to keep children away from explosives that can cause injuries and burns. He advised that in the event of such accidents, affected area must be bandaged and the injured taken to the emergency room or urgent care center as soon as possible.
Parents are also advised to make sure that Purim gift parcels accessible to children under the age of seven do not contain small food items such as hard candies, almonds, peanuts, nuts, cashews and seeds.
In addition, they should not include toys with small plastic parts that can be inhaled or swallowed.
Purim costumes – manufactured or handmade – must be fire resistant, non-flammable and not be made with feathers, paper, cardboard or cotton wool.
Ensure that children keep their distance from fire, especially when wearing hats and wigs. In addition, it is recommended to use only makeup products approved by the Health Ministry. If you suspect a skin reaction from the use of makeup products, rinse the skin with water and seek medical help.
Foam sprays that enter the eyes can cause serious injury. If they are purchased, make sure they are not sprayed at the face. If they are, wash the eyes immediately with tap water and seek medical attention.
MDA advises parents to make sure that costumes for children allow mobility and comfort. Make sure that it does not press the body and that it can be moved quickly without fear of entanglement or stumbling.
Do not buy costumes with lace, ropes, and cords longer than two centimeters so they cannot wrap around the neck or cause suffocation. Costume accessories such as swords and knives must be made from soft materials. Do not use allow the use of masks without proper ventilation holes, as it could cause choking. Don’t allow children to cross the street while wearing a mask, as this could significantly reduce their field of vision. Toy guns with plastic bullets can cause serious and irreversible injuries to the eyes, head, abdomen, neck and limbs, said MDA.
Do not use firecrackers of any kind and never keep caps in the pocket, as they may explode even without touching them, it added.
While adults may get a bit tipsy from drinking alcohol on Purim, one should not allow children to drink, or adults to partake of alcohol if they drive.