A boy rides his bike on the empty Ayalon highway on Yom Kippur.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
With the weather on Yom Kippur predicted to be hot and humid, people who want to fast safely should prepare themselves.
Cut down now on the amount of caffeinated coffee, tea and cola, as well as carbonated drinks you consume.
Drink a lot of plain, cool water. Avoid sweet, salty and spicy food. Eat complex carbohydrates, vegetables and protein before the fast begins on Tuesday at 5.57 p.m.
Sarah Nehushtan, a clinical dietitian at Ziv Medical Center in Safed, advised eating several small and nutritious meals starting Tuesday morning, and avoiding cruciferous vegetables (kohlrabi, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower), which cause stomach gas.
For the pre-fast meal, whole-grain pasta, bread, rice and other complex carbohydrates are best because they the leave you feeling fuller over many hours. Add tehina, avocado, olive oil, fish, poultry, beef or tuna.
Don’t overeat. Avoid physical activity that causes thirst.
Break the fast gradually, starting with dry cake, a slice of bread with jam or honey, and a drink at room temperature. An hour later, eat a combination of carbohydrates and proteins such as an omelet or cheese on bread, and a fresh salad.
Those who suffer from chronic illness, the elderly and pregnant and lactating women should consult their doctors before fasting.
Avoid physical exertion and being in the sun.
The head of the hospital’s pediatric emergency department, Dr. Dana Krupik, added that large numbers of unsupervised children playing in near-empty roads are hurt during the 25-hour fast.
Parents must keep an eye on them, and children on bikes, rollerblades, skateboards, scooters and other wheeled vehicles must wear suitable helmets.
Any child who has fallen and hit his head on the pavement should be examined immediately by a doctor, even if there is no outward sign of harm. Falls are the fourth most common cause of death in children under the age of 17, Krupik said.
Throughout the year, an average of six children are killed and 700 injured while riding wheeled vehicles or toys.
Call MDA at 101 for emergency help.
Magen David Adom is on the highest alert for Yom Kippur, when many hundreds of thousands of adults and children will be in synagogues and on roads. Paramedics and medics in ambulances and on motorcycles will be on duty to cope with emergencies through the end of Succot.
Every year, some 2,000 people need medical help during the fast. Before the fast, MDA urges people to donate blood to help it cope with shortages during the holidays.
Women undergoing fertility treatments who need hormone injections during Yom Kippur and have a doctor’s prescription should contact 101 in advance and bring their supplies to a nearby MDA station get the shot from a paramedic.