United Hatzalah has launched an extensive safety awareness campaign this year in anticipation of Purim. Every year, UH medical teams witness increasingly alarming cases resulting from the use of explosives, firecrackers, and other dangerous devices. These items may appear harmless but have the potential to cause serious harm, from burns to amputations. The holiday’s festive meals and costumes can also be a source of choking and allergy-related emergencies. To prevent such incidents, United Hatzalah released the following health and safety guidelines ahead of the holiday.
It is best to refrain from making or purchasing costumes that are made from easily combustible materials. If a costume has caught on fire, try to get the person wearing it to lie down and roll on the ground to put out the flames. You can also use a thick blanket or carpet to cover the person and suffocate the fire. If the fire spreads quickly, call for help.
For children, avoid costumes that contain small pieces such as buttons or googly eyes to prevent choking.
Avoid using sharp objects as part of a costume. All paraphernalia such as swords or scepters should be blunt or made of light plastic. Sharp objects can cause injuries to the wearer and those in their vicinity.
Explosives – Napatzim:
Any type of explosive device: caps, flash-bangs, etc. contain gunpowder and are highly dangerous and illegal. These “toys” can cause severe injuries and burns — avoid their use altogether.
Toys shoot off projectiles, such as guns, rifles, and even bows and arrows made of plastic can cause injuries and should not be given to children.
It’s important not to dress up a baby or small child in a costume that has small, round parts, or removable parts.
Candy, gumballs, nuts, almonds, and other small foods should be removed from mishloach manot before the package is given to children, they are choking hazards. Don’t send such foods to families with small children.
Allergies and Burns:
Spray cans that shoot fake snow or body paint are highly flammable and once sprayed on another person can cause burns and allergic reactions. It is also advised to check all makeup before use to ensure that the wearer will not suffer an allergic reaction.
One should only use makeup that has received the Health Ministry’s stamp of approval. In the event of a burning sensation or an allergic reaction around the eyes resulting from a spray, wash the eyes under running lukewarm water until the burning sensation passes. If the burning sensation continues, seek medical help.
In the event of an allergic reaction to makeup, remove the makeup immediately. If the reaction is serious and includes swelling of the tongue, or lips or difficulty breathing, immediately alert emergency services and request assistance.
To sum it up:
You are the grownup, so don’t let your children do on Purim things you won’t let them do any other day of the year. Purim is not a day for children to inflict harm on themselves.