Thanksgiving is an exciting time with family gatherings, all-you-can-eat buffets and a chance to get a little tipsy with your siblings and your favorite cousins, but combine a full-house, tons of cooking and booze — and before you know it you might find yourself at the ER if you’re not careful!
Common Reasons for Injuries & ER Visits
1. Knife-Related Injuries
Unsurprisingly, knife injuries top the list when it comes to visiting the ER. Our suggestion is to minimize distractions. Consider turning down the music while cooking or keeping only essential people in the kitchen. We also suggest sipping your wine rather than chugging it until everything has been cooked, is ready to serve and all appliances are turned off. We’re not sure you should be polishing off a bottle of sauvignon blanc on an empty stomach, anyway!
2. Food Poisoning
Given how much food is cooked for Thanksgiving dinner, it is no surprise that your chances of food poisoning skyrockets this time of year. Also, thoroughly cooking a 20 pound turkey can be a tough task for a beginner in the kitchen. Invest in a food thermometer so you don’t run the risk of getting your family sick off of undercooked turkey or any other meats you may be cooking.
Pro-Tip: Cook your stuffing outside of the turkey to reduce possibilities of food-borne illnesses.
When baking dozens of dishes from sweet potato casserole and piping hot gravy to desserts such as pumpkin pie and apple pie, burns are an obvious addition to this list! To avoid burns, always use oven mitts, even when pulling out the smaller dishes. I can’t even begin to count the amount of times someone has told me, “It will only take a sec” when pulling a dish out of the oven only to find themselves with a red, peeling burn on their arm.
Pro-Tip: Keep a small fire extinguisher nearby when cooking. You never know when disaster lurks around the corner and it’s always better to be prepared. Also, the looser the clothing you’re wearing while cooking, the more likely you are to catch on fire.
4. Alcohol-Related Injuries
Look, we get it, everyone wants to down a couple beers or pull out the whiskey during the holidays, but don’t let the holidays make you lose your wits. We know it isn’t easy to drink responsibly when you have tons of food to cook and extended family to deal with, but the best way to make it through the holidays is to drink only as much as you can handle. While preparing for family to come over, consider having only one drink per hour. Also, be mindful of drinking alcohol while on any prescription medications.
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Reminder: The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is known as “Black Wednesday” as it is the busiest night of the year for bars. If you must be on the road, take extreme precautions and drive as far away from other vehicles as possible. We urge you not to contribute to the drunk driving epidemic and to use Uber, Lyft, taxis or designated drivers when traveling.
We hope these tips keep you mindful and safe and in turn you have a fun and delicious Thanksgiving weekend. Happy holidays from the Parrish Law Firm!