Hylton I Lightman MD DCH (SA)FAAP

The title here alone may put me at risk to be called a curmudgeon. I enjoy structuring the environment for success and believe that the words “Purim” and “safety” are not oxymorons. We – you and I and all Klal Yisrael — want a happy and safe Purim. Here are some guidelines so we can affect A Freilichen Purim.

  • Do NOT use firecrackers or other pyrotechnic materials.
  • Costumes should be fire retardant. No matter, please keep away from all fires.
  • Masks should not obstruct vision, breathing or movement.
  • Avoid costumes with string, ropes or cords longer than 6 inches. This will avoid entangling around the neck and causing choking.
  • Dressing babies in costumes is beyond cute BUT – make sure there are no removable parts that a baby can put in his/her mouth and G-d forbid choke.
  • Speaking about avoiding choking – Mommy and Daddy should remove all gumballs, small candies, nuts and other goodies from the bags.
  • For body and face painting, use only makeup colors that don’t block skin pores. Don’t use ones that cause allergic reactions upon contact.
  • Each child should have a buddy – perhaps a sibling, cousin or friend. They go around together and are responsible for one another. It keeps kids accountable and responsible.
  • Supervise your children! Yes, even with a buddy system. Purim is a busy day and we cannot afford for even a moment to throw all caution to the wind.
  • Start the day with a hearty breakfast and make sure there is a protein-laden lunch. The candy and Nosh are going to flow but at least there will be a modicum of a solid foundation for energy.
  • Drink water. Water will keep you hydrated, especially when wearing the costumes and going around.
  • Park at the curb and not in the middle of the street. We want to avoid children exiting cars and then running in the middle of the street.
  • Drivers – Watch for pedestrians.
  • When riding a bicycle (on Purim or any time), don’t let the Tzitzis hang too low to be caught in the spokes of the wheel.
  • Wear a reflector at night.
  • Never text while walking.
  • Don’t mix drinking and driving. If you’re going to drink, you must be of age and not operating any kind of vehicle. There are no exceptions for “Purim DUI.”
  • Excessive and irresponsible drinking and other kinds of behaviors cause too many Hatzalah calls and trips to the Emergency Room on Purim. Such behavior is selfish and causes medical professionals and Hatzalah members to be absent from their families and Purim festivities.

I wish each and every one of you A Freilichen Purim.

As always, daven.

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