Thanksgiving Injuries

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, and everyone getting ready to welcome their families, it’s also a good time to remember that the holidays are some of the busiest days of the year at urgent care clinics and emergency rooms. Some people don’t do well under holiday stress, while others may not be going about the day with their usual care. Here’s what to be on the lookout for, and how to avoid.

Since Thanksgiving tends to be about eating as much food as possible, food poisoning is a big one to look out for during this holiday. Turkeys can be deceptively big, and many people don’t factor the weight of the turkey into their calculations. When cooking time seems to be taking too long, it’s tempting to just yank everything out of the oven as soon as possible. Don’t do that with any food, but it’s especially important to be careful with how you cook raw meat.

This leads us into food preparation, where there’s a lot of food that needs to be made and sometimes very little time. People might want to rush, or they might be having a good conversation and not paying attention to exactly what they’re doing. With food prep comes knives, and when working with knives, you need to give them your full attention. The sharper the blade is, the better it works — but it can also be much deadlier. In relationship to this is another type of cooking injury: burns. Many people like to try their hand at a deep-fried turkey for the holidays, but without sufficient experience, deep fry cookers will burn.

And finally, though this may be a somber note. Thanksgiving is also notable for having a high percentage of drunk drivers. Please think not only about yourselves, but other people when you drink. Always have a designated driver, and if you can’t get one, ask your host if you can spend the night, even if it’s on the couch.

Thanksgiving can and should be fun, but whatever you do on that day, make sure you slow down and pay attention to what you’re doing. You don’t want to be stuck in a waiting room when you could be tossing a football around with your nephews.