Three children poisoned in Passover cleaning incidents

With the arrival of spring and the school vacation for Passover come a variety of preventable accidents.

March 27, 2017 17:56
2 minute read.
Passover seder

Passover seder (illustrative). (photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)


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Rescue services, urgent-care centers and hospitals are gearing up for the usual onslaught of children and adults injured during the coming preparations for Passover, which are expected to reach their peak when the school holiday begins on Sunday.

With the arrival of spring and the school vacation for Passover come a variety of preventable accidents – burns from boiling water, falls from ladders, drownings in pails of water, poisonings from cleaning products and other unfortunate events.

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Prof. Yehezkel Weissman, head of emergency medicine at Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva, called on busy parents to take special care during pre-Passover cleaning.

He recommended that all dangerous objects and materials be placed high up or locked away out of children’s reach. Caustic soda and other fat-removing chemicals for cleaning ovens are especially dangerous, he said.

Everyone should wear protective gloves and goggles and air the rooms where cleaning is done with chemicals, he added. He also cautioned against mixing two different kinds of cleaning products.

Young children should be supervised while eating from what’s been left over from Purim, and any child under five should not be allowed to eat small, hard items, such as nuts. Many young children are also hurt by boiling water used to ritually clean pots and pans for the holiday.

Magen David Adom warned against putting chemicals and pills in food and drink containers and bottles, such as water bottles, as they may be mistaken as being safe. Before using cleaning products, it is essential to read the instructions.

MDA reported that it has already treated a nine-year-old girl from Jerusalem and her younger brothers, aged three and one, who drank poisonous chemicals put in a juice bottle by a parent. They were all rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

Dafna Ziv Bosani, a clinical dietitian at Schneider, said that gaining weight over the weeklong holiday can and should also be avoided. She advised that everyone drink a lot of water and eat vegetables – as matza tends to cause constipation – and get some exercise.

Meanwhile, MDA student volunteers, activists from Orot Hesed and students from the Branco Weiss Institute and Bnei Akiva will be collecting food from homes, communities and in supermarkets throughout Israel.

Adult MDA volunteers will also be collecting food products at their workplaces. The products will be packed by the volunteers and delivered on Passover to families in need.

MDA called on the general public to visit supermarkets and donate products such as matza, wine, grape juice, oil, sugar, matza flour, chocolate spread, jelly, black coffee, instant coffee, soft drinks, canned tuna, pickles, canned fruit, cookies, cakes, haroset, hazeret, long-shelf-life milk and potatoes.

Branco Weiss director Niva Hasson said: “We are happy to collaborate with MDA and assist with this important operation. Volunteering and community service are strongly encouraged at Branco Weiss and our students are happy to enlist in this cause. They will be collecting food from homes in various communities and packing it at our educational institutions throughout the country. We hope that together we can help prevent families from going hungry this upcoming Passover.”

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