Talking Turkey: The Most Common Thanksgiving Injuries and How to Avoid Them
Our Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys in Texas know that the Thanksgiving holiday brings a lot of work, friends, and family gatherings that include food, drinks, travel, and — unfortunately, accidents and injuries.
Here are a few of the most common Thanksgiving holiday injury causes, and how you can help avoid them at home and away this year.
Thanksgiving Holiday Accidents: Inside The Kitchen
The National Fire Protection Association lists Thanksgiving as the peak day for home cooking fires with more than three times the daily average for such incidents. Cooking causes half (49%) of all reported home fires and more than two of every five (42%) home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths (20%).
Whether you are using an oven, turkey fryer, or grille to prepare your Thanksgiving meal, never leave food unattended while any piece of equipment is in use. Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
Fires are not the only dangers that lurk in the kitchen on Thanksgiving.
Others make include:
- Grease splatters or steam from cooking that cause serious burn injuries.
- Burns caused by hot appliances, candles, and/or chafing fuel cans under serving trays.
- Knife accidents, either while cutting foods, dropping sharp objects, or when children gain access to them while adults are not looking.
- Serious cuts caused by broken glass from dropped dishes while serving or cleaning up.
To help keep your family safe, supervise children closely when they are in the kitchen or around food serving trays, to avoid giving them access to sharp objects, matches or lighters, or hot equipment. To keep yourself safe, sharpen all knives before use, as a dull blade requires more pressure to cut, increasing the chance that the knife will slip and cause serious injuries.
In addition, open all closed cooking equipment — including ovens, pots and pans — slowly to avoid steam burns. When lowering foods into grease, do so slowly to avoid spills and splatters that can cause serious injuries or explosive grease fires that are difficult to contain.
Thanksgiving Holiday Accidents: Outside The Kitchen
Thanksgiving gatherings require many positive factors to be successful, which ultimately means avoiding incidents throughout the home. Here are a few of the most common accidents that happen away from the kitchen.
- Food Poisoning
Food poisoning is a common occurrence on Thanksgiving because food is often open and available for consumption for hours throughout the celebration. Likewise, many hosts are trying new recipes around the holidays, and may underprepare certain foods, cross-contaminate foods during preparation, or simply be unsure of how a dish must be stored before others enjoy it.
To help avoid food poisoning issues, follow the USDA’s food safety guidelines.
- Vehicle Collisions
From Thanksgiving to the New Year, an estimated 25,000 injuries occur during alcohol-related crashes each year, according to BACtrack.com.
However, alcohol consumption is not the only cause of vehicle accidents on Thanksgiving. There are often more cars on the road, more miles traveled, fatigued drivers trying to make it home after a long day celebrating with friends and family, and significant distractions inside and outside of vehicles that can lead to serious crashes leading up to, on, and after Thanksgiving.
When traveling for the holidays, never drink and drive, or get behind the wheel when you are tired or otherwise impaired. Getting to your destination safely is more important than getting there quickly.
- Slip, Trip & Fall Injuries
When more people are sharing space, there are more opportunities for spilled drinks and food to be slipped on, and more toys, gifts, bags, jackets, and kids to trip over. In addition, there are more electronics and cords in use that can turn into significant tripping hazards throughout the home. When you add alcohol to the equation, reaction times are also slower, which can lead to more than one person getting hurt in a single incident.
To avoid these dangerous circumstances, keep countertops and floors free from dangling wires/cords or debris, so there is a safe path to travel from end-to-end of the home — especially where there are stairs involved.
- Sports, Games & Group Activities
In addition, other premises liability accidents can occur, like sports, games, or other group activities that place a lot of people in a single room, or the front or backyard. Football games, which are popular past times on holidays, are one of the leading causes of Thanksgiving-related injuries. The most common of which include fractures, broken bones, concussions, and whiplash.
While we hope you and your family have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday, and never need us, if you have suffered an injury or lost a loved one to negligence this holiday season, call our Austin Personal Injury Attorneys in Texas at (512) 746-1397 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation.
We pursue dedicated, driven results for our clients, and there is never a charge to talk to an attorney. We stand ready to help you.