As October turns to November, our minds turn from pumpkins and costumes to chilly days -- and of course -- Thanksgiving. This cherished American tradition is all about gathering with loved ones and sharing gratitude. Unfortunately, this day of eating is primetime for some common holiday injuries, mishaps, and turkey troubles.
While you are cooking the turkey, tossing a football, and stirring the gravy, it’s important to avoid injury and illness. Thanksgiving is America’s second favorite holiday, following Christmas, and it can be easily ruined when the family needs to rush someone to an urgent care clinic for emergency care.
So if you're looking to avoid the most common Thanksgiving injuries this year, watch out for the following injuries and ailments:
Since this day is all about eating, your guests may be at risk for food poisoning if you aren't careful! To avoid this, the CDC recommends fully thawing a turkey and cooking it at a minimum of 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Then be sure to prepare the stuffing separate from this holiday bird. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the bird, but be sure to keep the turkey in the oven as long as necessary.
During the food preparation, be careful of cuts and burns. One out of 10 emergency room visits are related to lacerations, and knife-related injuries are even more common on Thanksgiving. Adding to this risk, more cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year. Fires caused by deep fryers are especially of concern. Fire departments around the country respond to more than 1,000 of these incidents every year.
You might also want to keep an extra close eye on your relatives with a tendency to have a few too many drinks. Thanksgiving has been named the “deadliest holiday” due to alcohol-related car accidents. In 2013 alone, 360 people died on Thanksgiving Day due to drinking and driving. And don’t stop your caution there. Alcohol-related fatalities make up 31% of winter holiday deaths.
Fortunately, all of these injuries and incidents are completely preventable. While you are cooking, drinking, and laughing, take care to slow down. This way, you can be grateful for no emergency room visits. And of course, if something does happen, get your relative to emergency care as soon as possible.