The following article, from the Jerusalem Post, sheds a different light on Sukkot. (And you thought it was all fun and games…) It’s sensible advice with no surprises. But let’s just say that health and safety is not a doctrine (or belief system?) that Israelis seem to completely comprehend. Or follow. Anyway, where else in the world do you need to be wary of being stabbed by palm fronds?
Succot festivities pose their own risks
Already last week, a man in his 30s fell down two meters, hurt his head and his limbs while building his succa.
Not long after many hundreds of people fainted, suffered from dehydration and were hurt on empty roads on Yom Kippur, Magen David Adom medics have been busy treating people who have fallen from ladders while building their booths for Succot, which begins on Wednesday evening.
In addition, medics are preparing for overtime in giving first aid to hikers and others who will be spending their time outdoors during the seven-day festival.
Last week, a man in his 30s fell 2 meters while building his succa, sustaining moderate injuries to his head and limbs.
He was taken to Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem.
To prevent such injuries, people are advised to keep young children away during the construction of the succa; to strengthen the structures’ sides so they won’t collapse; and to pay special attention to wooden walls that are heavy and have nails and screws sticking out.
MDA will have three helicopters, including one in Eilat and the rest of the South, at its disposal for rescues.
Other safety advice includes not climbing on balcony railings or on unstable ladders, and ensuring that the leaf or bamboo succa coverings are held down well so the pieces do not fly away and hit passersby.
Palm fronds have sharp needles that can hurt hands, so those handling them should wear heavy work gloves. In addition, one should make sure that dangerous insects are not hiding among the leaves.
When installing electrical connections, one should not leave wires and outlets exposed.
Another sign of the holiday is the Four Species markets that are often set up at roadsides, and people should make sure that children who come along to purchase these items are always under parental supervision, aren’t hurt by traffic and don’t go missing.
When going on treks, one should make sure to bring plenty of food and water, sunscreen, light and long-sleeved clothing and broad-brimmed hats. It is important to wear high-topped shoes – never sandals – to prevent snake- and scorpion bites, and to tell children not to move rocks where such creatures may be lurking
So, remember, be careful out there!
[Thanks to Susan for the tip.]