The dangers of Hanukka

Head of urgent care at a Petah Tikva hospital reminds families to use caution around holiday candles and cooking; sees increase in injuries this time of year.

Hanukkah menorah 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Hanukkah menorah 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The joy of Hanukka, the Jewish festival of lights which will begin on Wednesday night, is sometimes disrupted by skin burns and home fires caused by careless use of candles.
Prof. Yehezkel Wissman, head of the urgent medicine unit at the Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva, reminds parents to be careful throughout the eight-day holiday.
The use of candles and hot oil for frying poses danger during Hanukka, he says. Children under the age of nine need the help of adults when they light candles. Make sure their hair and clothing cannot be set alight during the candle lighting, he advises. Place the candelabrum on an inflammable tray to prevent a tablecloth or table from burning. Do not use a tablecloth that can be pulled down by young children.
Keep the candles far away from curtains and never leave them burning unsupervised.
Keep matches out of the reach of children.
Children should not be allowed to fry Hanukka donuts on their own. Keep them away from the burners when frying.
In the event of a burn from fire or hot oil, wash the area for several minutes with running water, place a sterile bandage or clean wet cloth on it and go for a doctor’s examination. If necessary, give a painkiller at the proper dosage, Wissman says.