Template:Child as Choleh on Shabbat

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  1. If a child needs a vaporizer to alleviate discomfort (from bronchitis etc.), one may ask a non-Jew to plug it in on Shabbos to ease his pain. While some prohibit adding cold water to a cold water vaporizer,[1] others permit it if you pour it through the spout.[2] If it is a hot water vaporizer one may take previously boiled water from an urn and refill it.[3]
  2. Healthy infants and babies until the age of three (and according to some poskim even older children till the age of six or nine) are also halachically classified as “patients not dangerously ill.”[4] (In the final analysis, it all depends on the strength and maturity of the child.) [5] Therefore, they are permitted to take all forms of medicine, provided, of course, that no Biblical prohibitions are transgressed. [6]
  3. In a case where the child is under three months and appears to be ill, if his temperature is not that high, but merely a notch over 100 degrees, one can still desecrate the Shabbos (call a doctor, drive if a non-Jew cannot be found etc.) as temperature for a newborn can be indicative of something more serious.[7] If time is not of essence one should obviously initially look to engage a non-Jew in any prohibited activity. [8]
    1. Minchas Yitzchok 7:28, Be'er Moshe 6:51
    2. Sefer Hilchos Shabbos 8: footnote 64, B'shem R' Moshe Feinstien ZT”L
    3. Shalmai Yehudah pg. 44
    4. Chazon Ish, O.C. 59:3, Rav S.Z. Auerbach in Nishmas Avraham 328:54, and Rav Y.S. Elyashiv in Eis Laledes, pg. 57, quote the age of 2-3. Tzitz Eliezer 8:15-12 quotes ages of 6. Minchas Yitzchak 1:78 quotes age of 9.
    5. The Weekly Halachah Discussion (Rabbi Doniel Neustadt)
    6. Rama, O.C. 328:17. Note, however, that not all of a baby’s needs are exempt from the prohibition against medication; see, for instance, Mishna Brurah 328:131. See Tehillah l’David 328:24 and Minchas Yitzchak 4:124 who deal with this difficulty
    7. Igros Moshe O.C. 1:129
    8. Rabbi Heshy Kahn (What's Doing, Greater Connecticut, 3/3/11)