Specialists at Schneider Children’s have issued recommendations in anticipation of the Purim Festival: Prof. Yehezkel Waisman, Director of the Emergency Medicine Department (ER) at Schneider Children’s, notes that every Purim, children arrive at the hospital suffering from different kinds of wounds and injuries typical of the holiday and therefore recommends ways for prevention:
Cap guns: Children should be kept away and prevented as far as possible from playing with cap guns of any kind. The cap gun can cause injuries and burns. In the event of an injury from cap guns, the wound must be washed with tap water, dressed and the child brought as soon as possible to the hospital's ER for medical attention.
Gift baskets: Traditional gift baskets for children under the age of 7 should not contain small foodstuffs such as hard candy, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, cashews and seeds, as well as small plastic items which could be inhaled into the lungs.
Costumes and Make-Up: Fancy-dress costumes should have the seal of approval of the Standards Institute and should be non-inflammable and not contain feathers, paper, carton or cotton wool. Children should keep a distance from fire especially when they are wearing hats and wigs. Only cosmetics approved by the Ministry of Health should be used. In the event of a suspected skin reaction as a result of makeup, wash the area with water and take the child to a first aid station.
Aerosols and foam sprays: Aerosols and foam sprays contain chemical substances which can cause injury to the eyes upon contact. These items therefore should not be aimed at the eyes. In the event of an eye injury due to contact with these substances, rinse the eyes with tap water and refer the child for medical attention.
Dafna Ziv-Bosani, clinical dietician in the Nutrition and Dietary Unit at Schneider Children’s, notes that children are apt to eat lots of candies and confectionary over Purim in place of nutritious food necessary for normal growth. The importance of maintaining proper nutrition should be explained to children and limits imposed where appropriate. Candies should be limited to one or two at the most after a nutritious meal rather than eating all the candies at once. Preparation of “mishloach manot” (Purim baskets) should be prepared at home with the children, allowing for a better choice of contents, and providing an opportunity to explain the difference between healthy and less healthy snacks so, such as those containing artificial food coloring or only sugar and fats.