Thanksgiving Safety Tips
Thanksgiving is all about family. People travel both near and far to spend time with loved ones, catch up on the events of the past year, maybe watch some football and, of course, eat.
These are among the reasons why Thanksgiving is such a cherished American tradition and an excellent way to usher in the holiday season.
Unfortunately, Thanksgiving also can be a time when accidents and injuries spike. According to an article in U.S. News and World Report, some of the most common types of accidents occurring over Thanksgiving include:
At Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, our West Virginia personal injury attorneys know how much we all look forward to this time of year and to spending time with our family and friends.
To help you to make your holiday a happy, healthy and safe one, our Charleston personal injury attorneys have assembled this list of Thanksgiving safety tips. Please share them with your loved ones and enjoy a holiday we can all be thankful for.
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), Thanksgiving is one of the busiest - and riskiest - times of year to travel.
During one recent year, more than 400 people died in car accidents over the Thanksgiving weekend. More than 40 percent of those accidents involved drunk driving. Also, more than 60 percent of those who died were not wearing a seatbelt.
- Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. On crowded roadways, even just a few drinks can impair your judgment enough to cause an accident.
- Avoid distractions while driving. Do not text or talk on your cell phone. Provide children with coloring books and card games before you head out to keep them busy and cut down on child-related distractions.
- Plan the route you will take. Make sure to check the weather and road conditions in advance.
- Get your vehicle serviced before you hit the road. Check your tires and get your brakes checked before you go. Make sure your wipers work, and check your fluid levels, too.
- Be prepared. Carry items that might prove useful if you break down, such as a flashlight, jumper cables, blankets, flares and extra water.
In addition to the above, be sure everyone in your vehicle is wearing a seat belt - no exceptions!
Fire and Burn Injuries
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 4,000 fires occur each Thanksgiving. The majority start in the kitchen.
Play it safe when cooking by following these safety tips to avoid Thanksgiving fires from Atlantic Training, a leading safety training supplier:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking and do not leave ovens or stovetops unattended.
- If using a fryer, keep it outside and away from walls and moisture.
- Make sure potholders and food wrappers are at least three feet from cooking surfaces.
- If using candles or making a fire in a fireplace, make sure they are never left unattended.
- Make sure smoke alarms are connected and working.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy at all times.
To prevent burns, remember to never leave children unattended near a stove or open flame. Use oven mitts for pots and pans. Avoid wearing loose and flowing clothes that could get caught in flames.
While turkey is the star of the occasion, remember to use care when handling any kind of bird. Poultry may contain salmonella.
This is a type of bacteria which can cause food poisoning.
The symptoms of food poisoning include vomiting, nausea and digestive problems. Symptoms usually manifest within 12 to 36 hours of eating contaminated food.
To ensure a meal that is both delicious and safe, follow these food safety tips for Thanksgiving (again, courtesy of Atlantic Training):
- Avoid pre-stuffed turkeys
- If buying a frozen turkey, thaw it gradually in the refrigerator over a period of several days
- Cook the turkey immediately after thawing
- Use a turkey thermometer to ensure doneness
- Wash hands frequently and avoid cross-contamination by keeping cooked and raw foods separate.
For many people, the holidays are an excuse to overindulge a bit while enjoying the company of family and friends.
Unfortunately, a weekend of drinking and eating more than you normally do - compounded by the stress of traveling - can result in serious heart problems, inlcuding cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and heart attack.
Heart problems as the result of overindulging send many people to the hospital over Thanksgiving weekend. These conditions are so common there is even a name for it: Holiday heart syndrome.
Be good to your heart by following these safety tips for a heart healthy holiday from the website Everyday Health:
- Limit your alcohol intake
- Watch your sodium levels
- Do not overeat
- Take time to de-stress
- Stay hydrated.
If you experience any type of chest pain over the holiday, play it safe and go to the hospital right away.
The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday. It is a day infamous in retail stores and shopping outlets.
Stores frequently offer drastically reduced sale prices beginning as early as Thanksgiving night. Shoppers line up in droves to take advantage of the deals. News reports in recent years outline the mayhem as shoppers push and even stampede through doors to get at bargains.
In this type of atmosphere, slip-and-fall injuries are common. They can end up causing serious damage.
To prevent slip-and-fall injuries while shopping on Black Friday, follow these safety tips from the National Safety Council:
- Look out for spills and wet floors
- Beware of obstacles in walkways such as boxes or carts
- Wear shoes with non-slip soles
- Never climb on shelves or boxes to reach an item on a higher shelf
- Hold on tightly to children (or better yet, leave them at home)
- Avoid trying to squeeze through crowds.
No discount or sale price is worth your health and safety. You can always avoid the hassle of Black Friday by shopping for online sales instead on Black Monday.
Contact Our Charleston, West Virginia Accident Lawyers
At the Charleston law firm of Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, we wish you and your loved ones a happy, safe and healthy Thanksgiving. We are grateful to be a part of our community and happy to be able to give something back.
If you or a loved one is seriously injured this holiday season and think you could have a personal injury claim, please contact our experienced Charleston attorneys to get the immediate legal attention you need.