Get through Hanukkah safely - no miracles needed

MDA presents safety guide to prevent emergencies related to upcoming Hanukkah holiday.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Hanukkah sufganiyot
Hanukkah sufganiyot
Eliran Aharon
Every year Magen David Adom EMTs and paramedics respond to a variety of Hanukkah related injuries that stem from holiday customs such as eating sufganiyot, cooking with boiling oil, burns from Hanukkah candles, accidently inhaling various objects, and more. Adhering to MDA’s safety instructions could prevent the next emergency. Below is our full safety guide including treatment.The “My MDA” mobile app is available for free download and enables users to directly contact the EMTs and paramedics at the MDA 101 emergency dispatch center. Using the app, the dispatcher can immediately receive the caller’s precise location, dramatically cutting response times. Users can also plug in vital information to an in-app medical record such as chronic diseases, allergies, sensitivity to medication, ECG, previous illnesses, etc. The app also allows the hearing and speaking impaired to specify their disability and simply chat with the dispatchers to call for hel
MDA Director General, Eli Bin: “Every year on Hanukkah MDA team tend to emergencies caused as a result of hazards posed over the holiday. This year as well, MDA teams will be on high alert to reach emergency scenes as fast as possible and provide medical treatment at a time of need. In order to avoid unnecessary injuries, I call the public to pay special attention to the elderly and people with swallowing disabilities while eating sufganiyot and to adhere to safety guidelines that could help keep you and your loved ones safe. I wish you all a safe and happy Hanukkah.”
Below are Safety Guidelines and Preliminary Treatment Instructions.


- Do not use an unstable Menorah, a makeshift Menorah, or one made out of flammable materials (Menorahs made during arts and crafts at kindergartens and school are usually made out of flammable materials).
- Place the Menorah on a stable, nonflammable surface. Avoid placing it on table cloths, papers, newspapers, near curtains, etc.
- Do not walk around carrying a lit Menorah.
- Make sure the Menorah isn’t exposed to wind as it could knock it over and cause a fire, or blow flammable objects at it.
- Keep the Menorah, lighters and matches out of children’s reach.
- It is prohibited to leave lit candles without adult supervision.
- Children under the age of 14 must only light candles under adult supervision.
- In order to prevent face burns, make sure to keep children with long hair away from the Menorah at all times.


In case somebody’s clothes catch fire, keep them away from the source of heat and roll them on the ground, you can also use a blanket to suffocate the fire. Simultaneously, call MDA at the 101 emergency line or through the “My MDA” mobile app. Take the patient’s burning clothes off, rinse them with running water, hold the burned area under the water (do not use cold water, ice or ointments).

Fried Food:

- While cooking with boiling oil, use the back of the stove and watch the pot while you cook.
- Turn the pot handle backwards so that children can’t grab it or bump into it.
- Do not spill water on boiling oil, if needed, cover the pot or the stove with a wet towel.
- It is recommended not to heat sufganiyot in the microwave as the jelly inside them may become very hot quickly and cause burns. If you do, pay attention to the temperature. Make sure to avoid touching sufganiyot and levivot with bear hands as the oil inside them may cause burns.
In case of a topical burn, rinse it with running water, do not apply any sort of materials to the spot as it may worsen or infect it. Avoid popping blisters for the same reason. Call MDA via the 101 emergency line or through the “My MDA” mobile app.

Prevent Asphyxiation:

- Sufganiyah dough could be dangerous for little kids, the elderly and others suffering from swallowing disabilities – cut them to small pieces and watch the person as they eat
- Keep small dreidels away from infants before the age of five, the same applies for chocolate coins commonly handed out on Hanukkah


If the injured individual is able to speak or cough, encourage them to cough only (and not speak), and simultaneously, call MDA’s emergency line by dialing 101, or through the “My MDA” mobile app, and request an ambulance. In case the patient isn’t able to speak, cough or breathe:
- Conscious: call MDA at 101 and request an ambulance, check their mouth and apply compressions to their stomach
- Unconscious: call MDA at 101 and request an ambulance, adhere to the security instructions of the EMTs and paramedics at the dispatch venter until the arrival of MDA teams to the scene
When it comes to children and infants, if possible, turn the child over and pat their shoulders in addition to the aforementioned instructions.