Avoid These Hazards for a Safe, Fun Thanksgiving

1372787_21894386With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s important to keep in mind some of the hidden hazards that could potentially cut your festivities short.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 4,000 fires occur on Thanksgiving Day. To avoid fires, follow these simple safety tips:

  1. Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop.
  2. Do not leave food cooking in the oven when no one is home.
  3. Keep children away from the stove and oven.
  4. Keep children away from hot items, steam or liquids.
  5. Keep your floor clear of items to prevent falls.
  6. Ensure that cords are not dangling off the counter.
  7. Make sure your smoke alarm is working.

In addition to fire safety, there are other health hazards that are common around the holiday season:

  1.  Be sure your turkey is not undercooked. Follow the directions that come with your turkey on how to properly cook it.
  2. The most common cause of choking is talking while eating. If a person is unable to cough or talk, call 9-1-1. The American Red Cross recommends a technique called FIVE-and-FIVE for choking victims. If you know that maneuver, attempt it to dislodge the obstruction.
  3. Be sure you properly store and refrigerate leftovers. You should put your food away within two hours of serving it.
  4. If you have pets, don’t give them turkey bones. Turkey bones are hollow and are more likely to splinter and cause tears in the animal’s esophagus, stomach or intestines.

Thanksgiving is the beginning of the holiday season.  These simple tips will help you to have a safe season of love and fellowship with your friends and family.

About Author: Lisa Johnson MS, RN, FACHE, NEA-BC

Lisa Johnson serves as Director of Trauma, Emergency Services and Regional Development at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center.

She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Northern Illinois University and a Master of Healthcare Administration degree from the University of St. Francis in Joliet. Lisa is also a graduate of the Mayo School of Health Related Science as a respiratory therapist and holds multiple certifications.

Lisa has two kids and loves to cook and entertain friends and family. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors and exercising, including running, dancing, weight training and impact kickboxing.

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