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Common Thanksgiving Day Injuries and How to Prevent Them to Enjoy Your Holiday!

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and we want to make sure you are safe this holiday season. While Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to share with family, it can also have inherent hidden dangers. We want you to stay safe this year in whatever you do: whether you are braving the airports and flying across country, hauling a heavy turkey in and out of the oven, dodging gravy burns, carving meat wielding a finger-reducing knife, or tackling cousins at your annual family flag football game, we want your festive cheer to last! j

Here Are Some Common Thanksgiving Day Injuries And Ways To Avoid Them: 

1. Couch Potato Turned Football Star

All too often Thanksgiving seems to be a time for family members, regardless of their physical ability, to hop off the couch and engage in a post-feast football game. Not only can endorphin-induced football cause unwanted back pain from an annular tear, lumbar sprain or disc herniation, but many people wind up with ankle injuries, hand sprains, and fractures. Think twice before heading into a game if you rarely play. 

  • Plan ahead and start some gentle workouts now in preparation. Your body will thank you if this staves off an injury! Too often injuries occur when someone who isn't used to vigorous activity jumps at the chance to play the annual game. 
  • Convince family to play touch football or flag football this year and avoid traumatic tackles.
  • Make sure you have changed into appropriate sports wear and take a few minutes to warm up with a little jogging, jumping jacks, and active stretches. Don't forget to cool down with some stretching.
  • Play before any alcohol consumption to reduce your risk for injury.
  • If injured, stop playing - it's not worth pushing through and making an injury worse. Remember to R.I.C.E - rest, ice, compression and elevate!
2. One Very Large Bird

Someone has to lift it. Be careful with your back when carrying and lifting your thanksgiving feast in and out of the oven. Bending and lifting place greater stress on your back and can put your back at risk. 

  • Remember to bend with your knees and avoid twisting at the same time. 
  • Have an area cleared off to place the turkey when ready so you aren't scrambling last minute to set down a hot, heavy turkey pan!
3. Carving Induced Knife Wounds

But you wanted that Turkey carved just right! Keep in mind some simple knife tips to keep all your fingers intact this year. 

  • Focus on your task at hand - don't get distracted when slicing food
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  • Take your time. There is no need to rush whether you are carving the turkey, slicing vegetables or peeling potatoes!
  • Make sure you are comfortable carving the turkey - this is not an ideal time for a first time carver!
  • Use a sharp knife. Most accidents occur with dull knives.
  • Keep your cutting board secure with a non-skid pad.
4. Sizzling Burns

A 25 pound oven fresh turkey and piping hot gravy make burn splatters more likely.

  • Avoid wearing lose clothes to prevent dangling sleeves from catching fire.
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  • Keep pot handles away from the front edge to reduce the risk of knocking pots over and use pot-handles when moving.
  • Use precaution when lifting the turkey out of the oven. 
  • Keep an ABC-rated fire extinguisher nearby.
5. One-glass-too-many alcohol related accidents

Sure we all want to have a good time, but remember to always drink responsibly. The holidays are filled with drinking centered events, family gatherings and heightened emotional stress. Excessive drinking places you at increased risk for a wide array of health related problems. 

  • Be aware if you take prescription mediations that alcohol should not be mixed with most drugs. 
  • Never endanger yourself or others by driving after you have been drinking. Drunk driving accidents always peak this time of the year - protect yourself and plan ahead. A cab or couch is worth it if needed. 
  • Drinking in moderation means no more than one alcoholic drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. 

Stay safe this Thanksgiving and have even more to be grateful for!

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