This Chanukah: Think Safety!

The flickering lights of the menorah inspire a variety of emotions among Jews — from pride and a warm sense of belonging to sheer delight in their beauty. But for Jewish parents, they also bring a touch of worry — as little eyes and hands are drawn to them.

Small children should always be watched while the menorah is burning. At the same time, make sure that the menorah is lit on a stable surface.

Keeping children busy with games and with eating a festive meal, or even just with a steady supply of doughnuts, latkes and chocolate coins, is a good way to veer them from the candles.

Some additional tips:

· Never leave burning candles unattended.

· Do not light candles within 3 feet of curtains (if lighting in a window, pull them as far away as possible from the candles and tie them back) or other highly flammable material.

· Place menorah on a metal, glass or ceramic surface to light.

· If the sleeves of your outfit are loose-fitting, roll them up before lighting the menorah.

· If you have a woven, knitted or crocheted bracelet (or those red strings people give out in Israel), take it off or push it well back from your wrist before lighting the menorah. Make sure the bracelet and the loose strings at its end are not hanging down near the flames.

· Keep water or a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case.

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