Thanks to the pandemic and national lockdown, more families will be spending the holidays at home than in previous years. For children, Sukkot can be an exciting time - they get to hang out and even sleep in a different atmosphere. However, change in routine and more time spent at home can be cause for heightened risk of injuries and danger."This year we are expected to have a different holiday in the shadow of the coronavirus, in a limited setting with only the immediate family, yet, that does not mean there is less danger to children," said the head of Beterem - Safe Kids Israel, Orly Slyving. As children and parents alike are spending more time at home together, parents "are likely to take the opportunity to share the holiday experience with the children. This is of course a wonderful thing, provided it is done responsibly and safely. Observing the safety guidelines will help us all celebrate the holiday with joy and pleasure," she said. In light of the different situation this year, Beterem has provided a list of ways to keep children, and the entire family safe during the holidays. First and foremost, while building the Sukkah, the organization recommends keeping all dangerous building material, such as nails and wooden boards away from young children. Moreover, while building the walls, keep children away in case the walls collapse during construction. Make sure that once the walls are put up, they are securely reinforced.
Avoid climbing on trees and other dangerous things in order to obtain branches, fronds or other material for the sukkah covering.
While placing the sukkah covering, or hanging ornaments, do not climb on unstable surfaces such as trees, a balcony railing, or an unstable ladder in order to avoid falls.
When connecting the sukkah to electricity, do not touch exposed electrical wires or unsafe electrical points.
Do not leave a heater or lit candles unattended in the Sukkah. It is also recommended to place a fire extinguisher near the sukkah.
While many families enjoy eating their holiday meals in the sukkah, it is important to avoid injuries as a result of cooking and consuming hot food.
In order to keep children safe while cooking holiday meals, it is recommended to place pans on the stove away from children's reach. This means, move all cookware and utensils to the back of the stove, and turn all handles towards the wall.
Do not leave hot pots, hot drinks or other food at the end of the table or on the floor near children
Place serving utensils with food in the center of the table and keep cups with hot drinks out of the reach of children.
While serving hot foods, especially soup, it is recommended to pour into individual plates and bowls, and not to place the serving utensils on the table.
It is suggested to eat sitting down, without any additional activity involved.Lastly, and most importantly, it is important to enjoy the time together.