Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday where family and friends come together to give thanks and enjoy a delicious meal.  Even such delightful moments can be packed with hidden dangers. Whether you are in charge of cooking the turkey, slicing the carrots, or you are driving home on a full stomach, dangers lurk at every corner. Be sure you are taking the necessary precautions to avoid dangers so you can continue to have a joyous holiday!

The Turkey:

Everybody loves the turkey. It is the meal item that defines the Thanksgiving holiday (unless you are vegetarian). Cooking this very large bird can bring about back injuries and burns. First, lifting a heavy turkey can cause a strain on your back. Make sure you are bending your knees to avoid twisting. Also, be sure you have cleared a specific area for the turkey on the counter prior to taking the turkey out of the oven. Holding the heavy turkey for a long period of time can cause back injuries. If you feel that the turkey is too heavy, make sure to ask for help.

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The Heat:

The Thanksgiving festivities call for warm, delicious food. This warm food can be cooked in an oven, stove, or even the grill. Being around such heat can bring about unwanted heat-related burns. First, make sure to take necessary precautions when lifting the turkey out of the oven. Make sure that you have a good grip on the handles and the weight of the turkey. Also, it is important that liquid is safety contained to avoid the liquids from burning you while taking out the turkey from the oven. When working with the stove, make sure pot handles are not hanging from the edge to avoid the risk of knocking them over. In order to avoid clothes catching on fire, do not wear lose clothes while cooking near a stove. It’s always a good idea to have a fire extinguisher nearby!

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The Knife:    

Whenever there is cooking happening in the kitchen, the knife comes out! This useful tool can be the cause of many Thanksgiving-related accidents. When carving the turkey, make sure you take your time, focus on the task, and are comfortable doing this task. Carving the Thanksgiving turkey should be done by an experienced carver and not by a first-time learner (do not allow your children to carve the Thanksgiving turkey). It is also important to use a sharp knife, since most knife-related accidents occur with dull knifes. If you are cutting vegetables, make sure the cutting board is secure (with a non-skid pad). Be sure to maintain a clear focus on the cutting and avoid distractions. It is important to be safe when using a knife to avoid cutting more than just food!

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The Travel:

If you are partaking in a road trip to visit relatives, you may also face dangers on the road. Be aware of the weather forecasts and plan for a safe route prior to disembarking. Be sure to respect the speed limits and avoid speeding. Practice time management and leave with plenty of time in advanced to avoid last-minute rushes. If you are traveling long distances, make several stops, rotate drivers, and make sure your car is in good driving condition!

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The Alcohol:

Good times with family and friends can call for the consumption of alcoholic beverages (if you are over the age of 21). Practice safe alcohol consumption by not mixing prescription medications with alcohol, knowing your alcohol limit and sticking to it, and always planning ahead.  If you are planning to consume alcohol without moderation, be sure you spend the night on a couch or take an uber/taxi back home. Moreover, there will also be an increase of DUI checkpoints to keep drunk drivers off the roads. Avoid legal penalties, such as losing your license or spending time in jail, by not drinking and driving. Since Thanksgiving brings about an increase in drunk driving, there is an increase in traffic accidents. Don’t be the cause of a Thanksgiving accident due to your poor drinking judgement.

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Remember – Keep children and pets away from the kitchen to avoid them getting injured. Also, keep any item that can catch on fire, such as plastic bags, wooden items, paper plates, far away from the stove or lit surface. Avoid grease fires by regularly cleaning up cooking surfaces. Lastly, make sure ALL stoves, ovens, and kitchen appliances are turned off before leaving your home or going to bed.

We wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving with your friends and family!

Have a serious injury and need legal advice? Contact Howard Blau.

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