Tragic Passing of Yechiel Herbst z”l, Chokes in Sandbox

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An awful tragedy struck the chareidi community of Kiryat Gat today when a 3-and-a-half-year-old toddler, Yechiel Michel Herbst z”l, lost consciousness at his kindergarten and passed away at a hospital.

This afternoon, shortly before 2 p.m., Yechiel, son of Rabbi and Mrs. Aharon Herbst, suffocated in a sandbox after apparently swallowing sand.

MDA and Ichud Hatzalah volunteers gave him initial medical treatment and he was evacuated to the hospital in critical condition. Police arrived at the scene and began investigating the circumstances of the tragedy.

A preliminary investigation by police revealed that Yechiel and other children were in the yard of the kindergarten when an assistant teacher noticed that Yechiel’s face was covered in sand. With the help of another teacher, she began to wash the child’s face and mouth, but he had lost consciousness. Resuscitation efforts were to no avail.

Yechiel’s body was transferred for an external inspection at Abu Kabir. Kevurah will take place in Ashdod.

Orly Silvinger, the director of Beterem for Children’s Safety, said, “The tragic incident that took place today illustrates the critical importance of adult supervision during infant and toddler play. In the past, there have been cases where, due to insufficient supervision, children were injured and even died. We urge parents, kindergarten staff, and others to help prevent such cases. Always keep an eye on babies and toddlers, check to ensure that children do not put small objects in their mouths, and make sure that their environment is safe.”

Data from the Beterem organization indicate that since 2008, 89 children have died in Israel due to suffocation. Most of the deaths occurred in infants ages 0-4 (about 80%), and occurred at home (about 68% of the cases).

{Matzav.com Israel News}

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