Father warns against pistol caps for Purim

Man's son was seriously burned on legs, hand, and arm by explosive-filled caps for his toy pistol before Purim, 2007.

purim kids 88 (photo credit: )
purim kids 88
(photo credit: )
A parent whose son was seriously burned on his legs, hand and arm by individual explosive-filled caps for his toy pistol before Purim last year has warned against allowing children to obtain and use the harmless-looking objects. The father, who remains anonymous, said the friction from the round explosive-filled caps rubbing against each other in a pocket or held in a child's hand can easily cause them to explode and ignite. His son suffered major burns, requiring treatment with morphine, daily removal of bandages, and antibiotic creams. The process, said the father, "was a nightmare" that could have been prevented by preventing his son from getting caps. He noted that some of the companies that manufacture them give warnings in extremely tiny, unreadable print, and that they bear no responsibility for what happens if the caps are used "according to instructions," which include not separating caps from the plastic ring to which they are attached. The plastic melts when ignited and can cause serious damage, even though most parents, children and teachers think such caps are harmless. Beterem, the Israel National Center for Child Safety and Health, notes that every year, dozens of children are seriously hurt by explosives on Purim, which will be marked next week (and the following Sunday, in Jerusalem and other ancient walled cities). One should never use toy pistols or other arms that look like real ones, says Beterem, which also warns against using any kind of firecrackers, explosives or gunpowder. Caps should never be stored in pants pockets. Parents are urged to buy toys only at recognized stores. Only makeup approved by the Health Ministry should be used in costumes. Readymade costumes should not be purchased or worn unless they bear an Israel Standards Institution seal with Hebrew words reading that it meets standard 562. Children should not be allowed to wear objects that are tied around their necks, prevent movement or limit their vision. In addition, Magen David Adom warns parents to keep children up to age five away from small objects, edible or otherwise, in Purim parcels that could be swallowed. Magen David Adom says that in the event of a costume being set on fire, the victim should be rolled in sand or on the ground and the flames extinguished with a lot of water or a wet blanket. Do not cover the head. Children should not be allowed to use spray foam.