Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

19 Av 5761 - August 8, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family
An Ounce of Prevention
adapted from an article by Rochel Gil

Part III


In the Kitchen:

* Shorten the cord of the electric kettle (by means of a rubber band) and push it away from the edge of the counter to prevent a child from pulling it upon him.

* Store medicines/vitamins and cleaning supplies on a high or locked shelf, far from the reach of children AND NOT UNDER THE SINK!

* Don't leave anything with hot food, i.e. pots, cups, soup plates, near the edge of the table, on the floor or anywhere accessible to a child.

* Use the back burners whenever free and make sure that all pot handles are turned inward.

* Do not leave a hot drink, food or a cigarette near the reach of a child, even when you are seated with them at the table or holding a child on your lap. A slight move can result in burns.

* Do not serve popcorn, hard candies, olives, nuts or seeds to children under five. Cut franks lengthwise, not into rings. Cut grapes in half.

In the Bathroom

* Adjust the thermostat of your hot water boiler to a maximum temperature of 50 degrees C. If you have a solar heater, you must be extra careful lest children open the hot water tap by themselves.

* Put a rubber mat or rubber stickers on the floor of the bathtub to avoid slipping. Available in household goods stores.

* In the bathroom, use only electric heaters that are in excellent condition and keep them out of children's reach.

* Keep medicines and cleaning supplies up high and/or locked.

* Never leave a child under five untended in the bath, not even for a moment. Drowning is fatal and takes place very quickly and noiselessly. Sixty seconds is a very long time!

* Empty out anything that contained water immediately after use. This includes bathtubs, pails, basins.

In the Children's Room

* Heat the room only with radiators or convectors.

* Choose a crib and mattress for your baby that has the stamp of government approval.

* As soon as the baby is able to pull himself up, lower the crib to its lowest level.

* Do not hang heavy objects or glass-framed pictures above a baby's bed.

* Never ever leave a baby untended on a high place like a dressing table, highchair or carriage.

* Never leave plastic bags, unblown balloons or pieces thereof or any dangerous objects that can be swallowed within reach of children.

In the Car

* Correct usage of safety seats reduces child mortality and severe injuries from car accidents by 70%. On every trip, even short or at slow speed, make sure to strap children into safety seats according to manufacturer's directions.

* Back seats are safer than front seats.

* Make sure before each trip that the infant car seat is well anchored in place so that it cannot be moved more than 2.5 centimeters in any direction, also that the straps are secure and tight -- so that no more than a finger can be inserted between.

* Make sure the seat fits the age of the child, its weight and height, and that it bears some government approved seal (American, European, Israeli) and that it is comfortable and convenient to use.

* Infant seats that were involved in accidents or that have been in use for more than six years must be replaced.

Small Changes that Save Lives

Some more simple ideas from Beterem, an organization promoting child safety and accident prevention:

Staircases within homes should have sturdy gates at the top and bottom.

Do not leave irons (off or on) or ironing boards standing where there are children. Make sure the cords of all appliances are well insulated.

Electric outlets should be protected with simple plastic covers. Electric wires should be shortened or stapled to the wall beyond reach of children.

Heavy pieces of furniture like bookcases and dressers should be anchored to the floor or to walls so that even if a child climbs on them, or pulls at a drawer, the whole thing won't come toppling down on him.

Smoke detectors can warn if a child has lit a match and started a fire.

Examine the toys your children play with. A three-year- old girl was given a plastic toy containing a sealed liquid. She fell asleep with it and it cracked, its dangerous contents causing severe chemical burns all over her body!

A bill was introduced to subsidize the installation of window bars in depressed neighborhoods, which would have saved the country thousands of dollars in hospital bills and payments -- but it never passed. At any rate, windows that don't have bars can be fixed to open to a maximum of ten centimeters to prevent falls. Awareness is the key, says Michal Klein, spokeswoman of the organization, that is, dynamic awareness that demands action whenever something seems to be faulty, like swings in a playground etc.

We hope that these ounces of prevention will save many a pound of flesh...


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