Hanukkah: Guide to a safe holiday with kids

Experts from child safety organizations have answered questions regarding how to ensure a safe holiday for children.

A Hanukkah menorah. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
A Hanukkah menorah.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
This year, Hanukkah will be celebrated in smaller family environments. Child protection experts from child safety organizations have answered questions regarding how to ensure a safe holiday for children.
At what age can a child light the candles?
Up until 9 years old, children should light candles with the help of an adult. If the child has long hair, make sure it is tucked away before lighting the candles. Matches and lighters should be put away immediately after use.
Are all menorahs safe to use?
No. There are menorahs that children create in Arts & Crafts. Before using them, make sure that they are not made of flammable materials and check the candle holders' stability. Before using any menorah, make sure it is stable and intact.
Where should the menorah be placed?
Place the menorah on a wide space, such as on the table, countertop or wide window sill. Keep it far away from flammable objects such as a curtain or tablecloth, and out of reach of children.
What is the most important thing to do to prevent a fire?
Do not leave lit candles unattended. In addition, consider installing a smoke detector in the house. The detector warns of a fire early on, leading to the fire being extinguished quickly. The fire department will be contacted quickly, and the children will be evacuated quickly,
Can kids help make latkes and jelly donuts at home?
Definitely. Children can take part in cooking at all stages of preparation - up to the frying stage. The frying is left to the adults and the children should be kept away from oil splashes to prevent burns. During frying, it is recommended to use the flames on the back of the stove, and always point the handles of the pot or pan towards the wall.
Are there any guidelines for the safe use of "dreidels"?
"Dreidels"  that are too small pose a choking hazard to infants and toddlers. The rule is that any object that can fit into a Kinder Surprise Egg box can cause suffocation and should therefore be kept away from young children. :Dreidels" that light up can also be dangerous as batteries can break away from the "dreidel." Batteries are particularly dangerous because they tend to secrete dangerous substances that can damage body tissues at a fast rate. If a child has swallowed a battery, seek medical attention immediately. There is also a danger in the custom of some Hanukkah meals. For example, "gelt" chocolate coins can also be dangerous for children under the age of 5.
Translated by Abigail Adler.