When you think of Thanksgiving, you probably envision turkey, pumpkin pie, and – of course – family.
An emergency room is likely the last thing on your mind. Despite this, more people end up injured on Thanksgiving than you might realize.
How can you keep yourself and your loved ones safe and sound? By learn about the most common ways New Yorkers get injured over the holiday.
Slip and fall injuries
Thanksgiving may be snowy, icy, or rain-slick this year. So wear shoes with good traction and watch your step.
If you’re hosting, clear or treat sidewalks before guests arrive. Keep your yard and porch free from any trip hazards, such as cords, hoses, tools or sports equipment. Offer an extra hand to anyone who isn’t steady on their feet, including pregnant women.
With a bit of extra care, you’ll be far more likely to avoid a slip and fall that makes the holiday a lot less festive.
What are “drop” injuries? When you’re carrying a heavy casserole dish or lifting a turkey out of the oven, you risk dropping a large weight on your feet. If your feet are crushed, you can end up with broken bones as well as nerve damage, which takes a long time to heal.
To prevent this from happening, have a plan before handling a heavy object. Use rubber, silicone pads, or gloves for good grip. Make sure your path is free from clutter if you are doing something like transferring the turkey from the oven to the kitchen table. Additionally, prepare a clean, clear area to set the casserole or turkey, and have a trivet waiting.
These small steps can prevent significant injury.
Burns are another common reason for ER visits on Thanksgiving. So take your time and use quality potholders, towels, or silicone gloves to protect your hands when removing dishes from the oven. Also, keep pot handles faced away from you so you don’t risk hooking them on a long sleeve or bumping them and spilling the hot contents of cookware.
If you’re frying any of your foods this year, take additional burn precautions. For example, deep-fried turkey is a popular choice, but you must carefully follow all manufacturer’s instructions to prevent burns or even explosions from occurring.
Cuts or puncture wounds from a knife are always a kitchen risk, but that risk increases on Thanksgiving due to inexperience, especially in turkey carving.
The best way to prevent a knife wound is to practice proper technique. Start with a newly sharpened knife – dull knives can cause you to use too much force, and the knife may slip. Use your dominant hand to cut, and keep the fingers on your other hand curled under to steady the food. That way, you lower the risk of cutting your fingertips.
If you are new to turkey carving, search the internet for instructions first to keep your hands safe. As a nice bonus, you’ll make neater cuts too.
If you’ve ever experienced food poisoning, you know how awful it can be. Practice good habits to lower your risk.
Wash your hands thoroughly before cooking and keep your cutting boards clean to reduce cross-contamination. Meats must be cooked to full temperature, and stuffing is safest to eat when cooked outside the turkey. Food should be eaten within two hours of preparation and then refrigerated or frozen.
Additionally, before Thanksgiving, clean out your refrigerator and freezer to boost air circulation, which keeps foods colder and fresher. Then you’ll have more room to store those savory leftovers everyone loves.
Football gone wrong
Lots of families like playing a game of football on Thanksgiving Day, but too many former athletes overestimate their abilities and wind up in the ER with broken bones, sprains, head injuries, or herniated discs because they pushed themselves too hard in a football game.
If you don’t want to sit out, try to get in shape a few weeks before Thanksgiving, or opt for a flag football game rather than a contact game.
Since the majority of Thanksgiving travelers choose driving as their mode of transportation, automobile accidents always spike during the weekend. Be alert when you’re behind the wheel, and certainly don’t drive if you’ve had something to drink. Drunk driving accidents tend to go way up during the holiday.
Drink responsibly at your gatherings, and remember to keep alcohol away from curious toddlers as well. Too many little ones end up in the ER for toddler intoxication, simply because they sipped from an adult’s unattended glass.
Bottom line? Alcohol can cause big problems at Thanksgiving unless you manage it wisely.
If you experience an injury this Thanksgiving due to another’s negligence, contact an experienced attorney for help. You may be able to receive compensation for your injuries if they were due to