Window with bars (illustrative)
Window with bars (illustrative)iStock

Four preschool teachers and assistants were detained for questioning on Tuesday after a 3.5-year-old's head became trapped in the window bars at the childcare center.

According to Mako, the incident occurred between the morning and afternoon shifts, when the assistant who brought the children out of the building forgot the child, Eliya, who was sleeping in the doll corner.

When Eliya woke up and found himself in a dark, locked room, he "attempted to exit through the main door, but it was locked. He went to the kitchen, took a chair, climbed on it, got onto the counter, and tried to exit through the window. He put in one leg and then the other, turned around, and then his head became trapped in the window bars. He choked," his mother Shiran told Mako.

Eliya lost consciousness, and started foaming at the mouth.

"To our great luck, two amazing children whose siblings are in the preschool were on their way to buy popsicles, and saw him," Shiran continued. "They began screaming, 'There's a dead child in the bars, there's a dead child in the bars.' By miracle, an adult who lives near the center arrived, and attempted to rescue him and immediately called an ambulance."

Sagi, Eliya's father, told Mako: "They found Eliya hanging from the bars. He had managed to get his body through, but not his head - and he was hanging with his head inside. We thought he was in the afternoon program, until we received a text message from one of the news sites that a four-year-old from Mevaseret Zion had been found unconscious. Two minutes later, I received a phone call that the child who had been found unconscious was my child."

"When I arrived at the hospital he was unconscious. G-d saved him. One second here, one second there - this could have ended differently."

According to Shiran, the hospital performed a CT scan, and blood tests showed that Eliya's brain had not received enough oxygen "for a long time."

Attorney Guy Ofer, who is representing the family, told Mako that "the paramedic found Eliya with white-blue foam, not breathing. He needed to perform CPR in order to bring him back... The assistant said she noticed that a child was missing, but assumed that he had not come that day. No one checked."

The Mevaseret Zion Regional Council responded: "We are pained at the child's injury and wish him a quick return to routine. To our joy, the day after the incident, the child was released home from the hospital. This incident occurred as part of the 'Ofek' day camp."

"It must be emphasized that this is a preschool which received all the appropriate permits, including that of an external safety advisor, the supervisor for safety in educational institutions, and a license to operate from the Education Ministry. Already on the day of the incident, the Council contacted professionals to immediately fix the safety issues in the preschool's bars."

The Council added that the psychology services are providing support and advice to the educational staff and the children in the preschool.

"In addition, there is an ongoing police investigation, which will naturally include, among other things, whether the child spent long minutes in the preschool's yard without supervision by the Ofek staff. With the conclusion of the examinations of enforcement bodies, the Council will act immediately to implement all of its conclusions and act to ensure incidents of this type do not happen again."

The Jerusalem Magistrates Court released the women, on condition that they do not supervise children in the coming months.