Thanksgiving is easily in the top five American holidays for most people. You get to see friends and family you might not have seen since the last Turkey Day. Plus, you get to all dig into a delicious feast together. What is there not to like?
Actually, there are a few things not to like about Thanksgiving: the hazards that come with it. Each year, celebrants are injured by a handful of all-too-common dangers related to Thanksgiving. In order to keep your holiday fun and danger-free, take a moment now to learn about the hazards that you and your guests might encounter, and how to prevent them.
Five of the most common Thanksgiving dangers are:
- House fires: Decorating your home for the autumn usually involves a variety of earth tones and lighting some scented candles. If you do use a candle in your decorations, never leave it unattended. In a house crowded with relatives for Thanksgiving, it can be all too easy to forget a lit candle or knock it over, sparking a fire. Extinguish candles and fireplaces whenever everyone leaves the room, even if it will be just for a few minutes.
- Food poisoning: Nothing will spoil a delicious turkey dinner faster than finding out it wasn’t cooked to a safe temperature. Ingesting undercooked meat can cause food poisoning, which may be severe enough to require hospitalization. Any turkey you cook is not done until it has reached 165° Fahrenheit at its thickest point. The temperature should be maintained for at least 15 minutes, too. Meat thermometers should be on sale about this time of the year. Pick one up from the store today and use it for all your holiday cooking.
- Lacerations: Cooking the turkey can be hazardous if done incorrectly, and the same is true for serving it. Every year, Americans across the country are rushed to the emergency room for bad cuts on their hands and arms due to turkey carving mishaps. Only allow an adult who is confident with cooking and serving utensils to carve the turkey. You can also purchase and use knife-resistant gloves.
- Choking hazards: Any time there is a delicious feast, there will be at least one person who is perhaps overexcited to indulge. As a result, choking hazards become a prominent problem on Thanksgiving Day. You can help prevent choking hazards by double-checking any turkey that is served for bones. It is also smart to ensure at least two of your guests, possibly including yourself, know how to properly perform the Heimlich maneuver.
- Car accidents: Traveling to and from a Thanksgiving celebration can have its own dangers. People on the road tend to be in a rush to get to their destination, disregarding road rules and general safety precautions in their haste. If you have to drive across town or to another corner of the state for Thanksgiving, remember to give yourself ample time, so you don’t rush. You should also never drive while exhausted. Leave a little later in the day if it means getting the right amount of sleep.
From all of us at The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC in Austin, we wish you and your loved ones a happy Thanksgiving! Please enjoy each others’ company, share what makes you thankful, and remember to always be safe and responsible while celebrating. If an accident does happen and you think it might have been someone else’s fault, you can call us at 512.271.5112 to discuss the details with our personal injury lawyers.