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3 common Thanksgiving injuries

Fireman putting out a kitchen fire | MakeItGrateful.com
Photo credit: Scott Leman/Getty Images

Thanksgiving is a day of family, joy, gratitude and celebration, but it’s all too often a day that results in injury. Keep in mind three of the top Thanksgiving incidents, and do all you can to prevent them this year.

1. Traffic fatalities

Traffic fatalities increase on holidays, due heavily to accidents involving alcohol. However, New Year’s Eve isn’t the deadliest day of the year… nor is St. Patrick’s Day or the 4th of July. More deaths take place on the road on Thanksgiving Day than any other holiday, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Millions of travelers across America hit the roads on their journey home for the Thanksgiving holiday—in fact, more than 40 million Americans will be driving more than 50 miles from home this year, according to the AAA auto club. Road congestion and travelers in a rush, combined with alcohol consumption are to blame for these deaths.

2. Kitchen Fires

According to State Farm Insurance claims data, more cooking-related fires occur on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year. Why? Deep-fried turkeys, of course. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says deep-fryer fires result in more than $15 million in property damage each year, and hot oil spills and splatter can cause serious burns to an adult or life threatening injuries to a child.

To avoid disaster caused from turkey deep-fryers, use the following precautions:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and know how to operate the deep-fryer.
  • Use the deep-fryer outdoors on a stable, non-combustible surface.
  • Never leave a deep-fryer unattended.
  • Keep the deep-fryer out of reach of children or pets who could accidentally knock it over.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby just in case.

2. Food Poisoning

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday, food often gets left sitting out on the counter, leftovers are improperly reheated, and foods spoil from being prepared and stored carelessly—all resulting in food poisoning.

Use the following tips to avoid food poisoning at this year’s feast:

  • Wash your hands often to avoid food contamination.
  • Use separate utensils and cutting boards for meats and produce.
  • Make sure the turkey is cooked to at least 160 degrees.
  • Refrigerate left-over dishes in shallow containers within two hours after meals have been served.
  • Store turkey in the refrigerator up to three to four days; discard thereafter.
  • Avoid reheating leftovers in plastic containers

For safe turkey preparation steps, check out the tips provided by Environment, Health and Safety Online.

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