In searching for relevant Hannukkah-related articles on Pubmed, an interesting article jumped out at me.
In this article, the authors studied trends in injuries admitted to the emergency room at the Petach Tikvah Children’s Medical Center in Israel. Interestingly, they found that injury rates in children rose in specific ways related to certain Jewish holidays. In particular, they found that there was a significant rise in burn injuries surrounding the holidays of Hannukkah, Lag BaOmer, and Passover. Hannukkah involves the nightly lighting of candles, and Lag BaOmer traditionally involves bonfires. While Passover does not explicitly involve any fire-related activity, the authors speculate that this is due to an overall increase in cooking in the house around this festive period. What is clear, however, is that there is a sudden jump in accidental poisonings around Passover, due to cleaning products used during holiday-mandated spring cleaning. Around the days surrounding, and including Passover, there is a spate of bicycle and skateboard related injuries. Cars are not driven during Passover, so this means that children have free-rein of the roads, and use the opportunity to promptly injure themselves.
So be careful when lighting those Hannukkah candles.
Oh, and if you’re Christian, this is advance warning to beware pokey objects near eyeballs and other Christmas-related injuries: