Avoid accidents in pre-Passover preparations

With Passover cleaning entering its most hectic phase, parents must be careful to prevent unintentional poisoning.

Cleaning (good illustrative) 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Cleaning (good illustrative) 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
With Passover cleaning entering its most hectic phase less than two weeks before the holiday, parents must be careful to prevent unintentional poisoning of young children from cleaning materials or drowning in even shallow water in buckets.
Schneider Children’s Medical Center for Israel in Petah Tikva warned never to store cleaning liquids in soft drink or other familiar bottles, as every year, children who swallow poison reach the emergency room for treatment. Always lock away such materials, and never leave them untended and within children’s reach for even a moment.
Adults should also be careful to wear gloves while cleaning to prevent harm from powerful chemicals. Never mix chemicals, as bleach and other cleaners can become a deadly, fume-releasing mix. Anyone who is hurt from cleaning products should wash the skin immediately and seek medical help.
If you make year-round pots and pans kosher using boiling hot water, keep children away. Hospitals receive burns patients from boiling water before Passover every year.
As nuts, seeds and other small hard pieces of food are commonly consumed on Passover, keep them away from children under the age of five, as they may have difficulty swallowing properly and choke on them. Also beware of fish bones.
As adults and even children may gain considerable weight and suffer from constipation during the weeklong holiday of matza, Schneider clinical dietitian Dafna Ziv Bosani advises drinking water and eating fresh vegetables and fruits. One matza has the same number of calories as two slices of regular bread or four slices of low-calorie bread. Matza fried in butter or oil is very fattening. Ziv Bosani recommends eating nutritious foods and exercising during the holiday.
The weeks before Passover are the height of the season for the Yad Sarah organization, whose 100 branches around the country lend out wheelchairs, walkers and other equipment to enable institutionalized elderly and disabled to be with their families for the Seder.
In the last few days, thousands of pieces of equipment have been moved from storage at Yad Sarah’s Jerusalem headquarters to branches around the country. By the eve of the holiday, an estimated 10,000 pieces are expected to be lent out.
In 2012, the organization lent out a total of 273,000 medical equipment items; drivers of 40 Nechonit vans took people in wheelchairs on 103,000 trips and 11,000 new subscribers to emergency beepers were signed up. Volunteers made 90,00 visits to the home bound.
Magen David Adom has already launched its annual Kimha Depis’ha Passover food fund for needy families. It will distribute over 30,000 packages before the holiday. Thousands of volunteers are collecting foods like canned food, matza meal and sugar.