While recovering from her fourth delivery in the obstetrics ward of Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem, her three younger children were taken for treatment after being exposed to drain cleaner at home.
The father had been watching his children at home in the ultra-Orthodox Bukharan Quarter when he discovered all three children – ages a year and eight months, two years and eight months and four years – were “playing” with drain cleaner.
They were taken to the hospital, the youngest one in moderate condition and the other two good condition. The toddlers suffered skin burns from the caustic soda, which is used to unclog drains and should not have been reachable by the children.
Dr. Hashavia Sa’ar, a specialist in the pediatric emergency room, said caustic soda “melts the tissues. It may be that the youngest child swallowed the caustic acid. We are continuing to conduct tests for an in-depth investigation.”
Signs of ingestion of caustic soda include mucous, hoarseness and oral lesions. In such a case, the child must be rushed to the hospital for treatment.
External burns from the chemical, including burns in the eyes, must be washed immediately with running water for at least 10 minutes. Then they must be taken for urgent medical care. In any case, do not give them milk or water to drink,” he said.
The father was with the children in the emergency room while his wife was upstairs in obstetrics.
“I was with the children at home. Usually, such chemicals like caustic soda are on top of the clothes dryer and the service porch is closed, so the children can’t get in.
But this time I went in to take care of the wash and the door remained open.
“Suddenly,” he said, “my daughter came crying and couldn’t be calmed. I washed her face. My elder daughter said she saw blood. Then my son came with skin burns and blood. I understood that they were harmed and called Magen David Adom. They arrived quickly and took them to Hadassah’s trauma unit.”
The father added: “I call on parents to make sure that dangerous chemicals are kept out of the reach of children. What happened to us ended with a miracle [that they are alive], but we must watch with 1,000 eyes because these materials are very dangerous.”