Preventing Injuries During Thanksgiving

November 10, 2021

Thanksgiving is a festive time for families to come together and eat delicious meals, interact and have fun, and make lasting memories. It’s also the time of year when injuries tend to spike. The combination of the change in weather and life becoming busier creates a recipe for disaster for some people who become distracted or overwhelmed.

From slip-and-falls to burns, injuries are a common feature of the thanksgiving period. How can you prevent injuries during Thanksgiving and stay safe while you enjoy the celebrations? Check out these key pointers that could help you make it through Thanksgiving without incident.

AFC Urgent Care North Bergen provides patients with injury treatment every day. If you find yourself with a burn or cut from cooking this holiday season, visit our center for treatment.

How to Treat Burns

A lot of cooking goes on during Thanksgiving, from cooking a turkey to making a green bean casserole. The reality is that burns can easily happen in an instant if you become distracted while working in the kitchen. You can prevent burns by staying alert and keeping an eye on your timer.

The handle of your pots and pans should be turned inward and not to the front of your stove, where it can be knocked off. Wear appropriate clothing that won’t get in the way of stove flames while cooking. If you or your child gets a burn or is scalded, it’s important to know how to treat it.

  • Major Burns: For major burns, get help immediately or call 911. While you wait for emergency professionals to arrive, check to see if the individual is still breathing and initiate rescue breathing if necessary. Remove any restrictive items in the area of the burn since swelling can occur quickly. Cover the burn with a clean cloth and cool, breathable bandage.
  • Minor Burns: Begin treating minor burns by cooling the burn under cool running water or a wet compress application. Remove restrictive items, like jewelry, before the burn area swells. Clean the broken blister with water and apply antibiotic ointment. To the cooled burn, apply aloe-vera-containing lotion, moisturizer, or burn cream to keep the skin from drying. Use sterile gauze to cover the burn and keep it protected. Use over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) to manage pain.

Fire Safety

Home cooking fires tend to surge during Thanksgiving and Christmas time. In 2018, on Thanksgiving, U.S. fire departments responded to roughly 1,630 home cooking fires, with unattended cooking as the leading contributing factor. You can prevent cooking fires in several ways:

  • Don’t leave your cooking alone on the stovetop
  • Frequently check on your turkey while it cooks
  • Make your stove a NO-GO zone for kids
  • Keep hot food and liquids away from kids
  • Keep electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer out of the reach of children, as well as matches and utility lighters.
  • Test your smoke alarms and ensure that they are working correctly.
  • Have a fire extinguisher near the kitchen, as well as fire blankets for small cooking fires.

Knife Safety

Carving the turkey can be an exciting part of Thanksgiving dinner, but before you get to cut the turkey, a lot of knife action takes place during food preparation. From chopping an assortment of vegetables to slicing the apples for your pie, if your knife skill isn’t right, or you aren’t paying attention, plenty could go wrong.

You want to avoid terrible knife accidents that could leave you with an ugly scar or worse. From the get-go, ensure that your knives are sharp to maintain their precision. In terms of technique, practice slicing away from your palms and fingers to minimize the risk of a cutting injury. It’s also important to select the right knife for particular tasks, considering blade size, blade edge, and flexibility. Keep your focus on your cutting task to avoid distraction mishaps. Store your utensils correctly in the designated storage space.

You can enjoy your Thanksgiving without major hiccups. Take steps to prevent cooking fires and make knife safety a priority. With all the cooking that goes on during Thanksgiving, knowing how to treat burns is beneficial. Try and be safe this Thanksgiving as you enjoy good food and good company.

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