Pre-Passover cleaning causes the most home injuries and poisoning

Tips for staying safe while preparing the home for the big holiday.

March 12, 2015 15:40
2 minute read.

Cleaning supplies. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)


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The most intensive period of cleaning of the year – the weeks before Pessah – brings with it the highest rate of accidental poisoning, injuries, burns and other incidents in the home, according to Magen David Adom.

Ambulances have already rushed to treat victims, both children and adults, but the number of cases is due to rise when children are home on vacation and the most intensive cleaning takes place.

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On Sunday, a 40-year-old woman died when she fell 13 stories to her death while cleaning the windows of her Netanya apartment. MDA paramedic Sharon Levi, who arrived at the scene and declared the woman dead, said she was without a pulse when found and had suffered severe injuries.

In general cleaning products that are not supervised or used properly cause the most damage in the pre-holiday cleaning period. All chemicals must be well labeled (never poured into bottles that otherwise can contain food) and kept out of the reach of children. Keep food away from cleaning products.

Wear closed shoes rather than sandals or open-backed slippers while cleaning to avoid slipping on wet surfaces or suffering chemical burns on the feet.

Pregnant and lactating women should avoid exposure to toxic materials. Avoid using caustic chemicals to clean the oven.

Always carefully read the instructions on the package.

Never mix cleaning products such as scouring powder and ammonia. Always air out rooms after they’ve been cleaned. In the event of poisoning, call MDA at 101 immediately.

It is forbidden to give poisoning victims milk or juice as an antidote to poisons. Causing regurgitation of the chemicals can cause severe damage to the esophagus. Make sure victims have open air passages and place them in a comfortable position.

If a chemical gets into the eyes, rinse them with a lot of running water. Do not rub. If the eye is red and is tearing, call for an ambulance.

If chemicals lead to a mild allergic reaction, wash the affected are with water only, and follow instructions on the package. If the victim is suffering from swelling or respiratory difficulties, call an ambulance and seat the person upright.

Keep children at a distance while baking, cooking and burning the hametz. Place pot handles facing the back of the stove so they are not knocked down.

If someone suffers a local burn, lukewarm running water should be used to cool it. If the burn is serious, call an ambulance.

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