Certain ailments and injuries are a bit more common over Thanksgiving weekend. Being aware and informed of the potential risks can help to ensure that this holiday is an enjoyable, light-hearted time, rather than one filled with stress and hardship.

Let’s take a look at five of the more common mishaps and how to avoid them.

1. Car accidents
The American Red Cross, a nonprofit devoted to safety, notes that traffic volumes often peak around Thanksgiving, as a result of possible weather-related road conditions and an increased prevalence of drunk driving around the holidays. Families must take special care while they are traveling to and from Thanksgiving dinner, as well as throughout the busy weekend. The Red Cross suggests following speed limits closely, remaining focused and conscious of surroundings, leaving headlights on even when it is still light out, and always observing safe following distances. Peak Thanksgiving traffic will generally occur on Wednesday afternoon, Thursday night, and throughout Black Friday.

2. Fires
The time-honored tradition of deep-frying turkeys on Thanksgiving is a major cause of house fires. If you intend to do this, make sure your turkey is fully defrosted before dropping it into the vat of oil, and always do it outside in a grassy area where there are no flammable materials nearby. Furthermore, the Red Cross suggests keeping an eye on all food that is being cooked at all times – regardless of the dish – and keeping children away from the kitchen. The organization also notes that baggy clothing can be a threat, so be mindful of what you are wearing while you cook and always have a fire extinguisher on hand.

3. Burns
EMS World, a publication devoted to emergency medical service news, states that burns have been declared as some of the most common injuries hospitals see over Thanksgiving weekend. The source suggests keeping all handles on stovetop cookware pointed inward rather than on the edge, wearing long sleeves, pants and shoes, and paying close attention to what you are doing while preparing the meal. If you are going to deep fry a turkey, make sure you follow the guidance above, and wear protective gear – such as rubber elbow-length gloves – while cooking the bird.

4. Cuts
EMS World notes that cuts are very common during Thanksgiving weekend, and a few straightforward steps can help you prevent such injuries. Perhaps most importantly, the publication urges consumers to only use very sharp knives when slicing up a very large turkey, as dull blades will not be as easy to control. Follow the best practices of dicing when you are cutting up vegetables as well, protecting your fingers should the blade happen to slip, and always slice away from your body. EMS World also recommends using non-stick pads below cutting boards to keep everything secure and stable.

5. Food poisoning
Make sure you use a food thermometer for your turkey rather than just “eye-balling” it. Food Safety, a government agency devoted to consumer health, suggests checking the temperature of the turkey in three spots to ensure it has cooked to 165°F. If you are using eggs in any of your dishes, cook them through. Make sure you are washing your hands regularly and using separate cooking utensils especially when working with raw meat, eggs and other items to avoid contamination.

Stay safe, and have a great Thanksgiving!

Article courtesy of Selective Insurance

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