United Hatzalah

Pesach: Safe Use of Cleaning Agents


The days leading up to Pesach, and particularly the week before the holiday, show a marked rise in the incidence of child poisoning. Most cases are children under six who’ve swallowed various detergents, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

This picture repeats itself annually as Pesach preparations get underway, with the thorough cleaning, scrubbing, painting, and polishing of dishes and kitchen, all of which are accompanied by risks. Detergents, chemicals, paint and pesticides often sit around open, within easy reach of children. While restocking our medicine cabinets, many drugs find their way into the trash, accessible to little hands and mouths.

 Safety Rules in Using Detergents and Chemicals
• Place detergents out of reach of children, in a high or locked place. Immediately after each use, be sure to close the container properly and return it to the secured place, so as to avoid the risk of ingestion, inhalation of toxic substances, and burns.
• We recommend buying detergents and drugs that come in childproof containers.
• Never mix cleaning agents, especially acids and bleaches. Such mixtures can release toxic gases that are highly dangerous when inhaled.
• Don’t store cleaning products near food products and drinking glasses.
• Be sure to store liquid cleaners beneath those that come in powder form.
• Read instructions for use of the product carefully before opening, and follow them strictly. This will benefit adults and children alike.

Some Simple Steps to Perform After Exposure to Toxic Substances:

• Stay alert to signs that point to a potential poisoning situation (e.g. empty packets of drugs, syringes, a closed car [carbon monoxide] etc.).
• Call for help – dial 1221.
• In a case of loss of consciousness, start CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation).
• Wait for advanced medical help to arrive.
• If there is any suspicion of poisoning, don’t wait for symptoms to develop! Immediately call the Poison Information Center at 04-854-1900 and follow the instructions.
• Do not induce vomiting.
• Do not let the victim drink anything (milk, etc.).
• Take the container with you to the emergency room (medicine package, bottle of bleach, etc.)

Wishing you a safe and happy Pesach!

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