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There is no doubt that one of the happiest holidays for children are the colorful and decorated fancy dress costumes they wear on Purim. With this, every Purim, children arrive at the hospital suffering from various wounds and injuries typical of the holiday. Schneider specialists offer advice about what foods to refrain eating, and how accidents can be avoided preparing mishlochei manot (traditional gift baskets) while wearing being dressed up or applying makeup.
Gift baskets: Dr. Oshrat Weiss Sela, speech therapist, Prof. Elhanan Nahum, Director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Dr. Patrick Staffler, senior physician in the Pulmonology Institute, Dr. Moshe Hayn, senior physician in the Otolaryngology Unit, and Yuliana Eshel, Director of Physical Therapy services, remind parents that foods that are smooth, round, rolled or sticky can block the child's airway passages without any possibility of extracting the item. Hard foodstuffs can be difficult to chew and children might only partially chew and thus swallow larger pieces that could also block the airways. It is therefore recommended to avoid having in the home small or small parts of toys, whistles, rubber balls and so on which can be swallowed or inhaled into the lungs.
In addition, traditional gift baskets for children under the age of 5 should not contain small items such as marshmallows, toffees, chewing gum, suckers, soft, hard, sticky or round candy, popcorn, chocolate with nuts, Bisli, round pretzels, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, cashews and seeds.
Dr. Ron Berant, Director of the Emergency Medicine Department (ER), explains what is most important to pay attention to:
Cap guns: This is a very dangerous game and can lead to burns and pose a threat to children nearby. Children should be kept away and prevented as far as possible from playing with cap guns of any kind. In the event of an injury from a cap gun, the wound must be washed with tap water, bandaged and the child brought as soon as possible to the hospital's ER for medical attention.
Costumes and Make-Up: Fancy-dress costumes should have the seal of approval from the Standards Institute and should be made of non-inflammable material without attachments of feathers, paper, carton or cotton wool. Children should keep their distance from any source of fire especially if 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 are harmful to the eyes upon contact. These items should be avoided and never be aimed towards 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, Head of the Nutrition and Dietary Unit, notes that children are exposed to a huge amount of candies and confectionary over Purim which they consume rather than nutritious food necessary for normal growth. The importance of maintaining proper nutrition should be explained to children and limits imposed where appropriate. Candies and snacks should be limited to one or two per day at the most after a nutritious meal. Food labels should be read, while items disguised as healthy foods such as nutritious snacks or morning cereals which contain high amounts of sugar and oil should be removed from the child's diet. Use should be made of the red and green stickers located on food packages today.