Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving? It’s one of the few times each year when we can forget about our troubles, enjoy good food and good company, and gather around a game of football. While many Americans look forward to Thanksgiving as a time for making memories, some of those memories might not be so enjoyable. Unfortunately Thanksgiving accidents are common and emergency departments experience an influx of patients each turkey day, with injuries ranging from minor to severe. Make your Thanksgiving memorable for the right reasons. Avoid these accidents that can lead to serious injury.
One of the most common causes of fires is cooking, according to data from the National Fire Association. Two of every five home fires involve cooking, and half of those are ignited by oil or grease. Observe some basic precautions to reduce your risk of burns or smoke inhalation:
- Stay in the kitchen the entire time you’re frying, broiling, or grilling food. These are the cooking methods with the highest potential for fire.
- If simmering, baking, or roasting, check food often and always set a timer as a reminder. Never leave the house with the oven on.
- Keep a lid within arm’s reach to smother small fires by covering and turning off the burner.
- Keep flammable objects, such as potholders and kitchen towels, away from the stovetop.
- If you can’t live without the taste of deep-fried turkey, always deep fry outside. Keep an extinguisher nearby and wear protective clothing and goggles in case of oil spatter.
Cuts From Kitchen Equipment
Knife cuts are a popular source of Thanksgiving-related injury. According to data from the Consumer Products Safety Commission, 350,000 people reported lacerations from knives in 2012. Knives don’t have to be sharp to cut – in fact, dull knives are more likely to cause harm. To minimize your chances of cutting yourself, heed these tips:
- Keep your knives sharpened
- Use a cutting board with a gripping surface
- Cut away from your body
Take care when you carve your holiday turkey. Use freshly sharpened knives and put a damp towel under the carving board to prevent slips. And take your time – safety always comes first.
This is a surprising source of kitchen injury, but people have been injured by ranges tipping over onto them. It’s more common with children, who climb on to open oven doors and disturb the unit’s center of gravity. Always supervise children in kitchen areas, even if the oven isn’t on.
Victims can suffer from any number of injuries because of shattered dishes and cookware. Glass, porcelain, and ceramic shards all cut, while dishes filled with hot food can burn victims when cookware shatters. Never put dishes directly on a burner, and consider buying shatterproof cookware and dishes to reduce your risk of injury.
Microwaves are convenient inventions and newer oven models let us do even more things with them. However, microwaves are still notorious for heating unevenly and burn injuries may occur. In 2012, microwave use injured 10,000 people. To reduce your risk:
- Take extra precaution in removing wrappers or opening steaming bags. Hot steam can cause scalding burns. Open them pointing away from your body.
- Stir food thoroughly and test the temperature to address uneven heating. Consider heating at a lower power.
- Let food sit for a minute or two in the microwave before removing.
- Always boil water on the stovetop, not in a microwave. Superheated water can easily erupt, even if it seems placid.
The Thanksgiving season should be one to spend with family, not in an emergency medical facility. Take care and heed these tips for a safe and successful turkey day. From our family at De Castroverde Law Group to yours – happy holidays!