Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year when families and friends congregate over delicious warm food, competitive football games and the joy and thankfulness for life’s blessings. Unfortunately, though, Thanksgiving can also be one of the most dangerous holidays of the year. By avoiding these three dangers, you can keep yourself and your family happy and healthy for the holiday season.
Thanksgiving, along with Independence Day and Memorial Day, is one of the most dangerous holidays for driving. The National Safety Council predicts that more than 400 highway deaths will occur between Wednesday and Sunday of the Thanksgiving holiday, with another 44,700 drivers and passengers suffering serious but nonfatal injuries.
These statistics are not predicted without reason. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day sees two-to-three times the amount of alcohol related auto deaths than any other time of year; a calculated 40 percent of all traffic fatalities during the holidays involve an alcohol-impaired driver.
Furthermore, 46.3 million Americans are expected to travel more than 50 miles from home over the holiday weekend. Whether your travels involve long or short drives, be sure to follow these safety procedures:
- Use seatbelts
- Ensure the proper use of child seats
- Put away cell phones and other devices
- Use extra caution in bad weather
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs etc.
Each year on Thanksgiving day, more than 4,000 fires occur as a result of boiling potatoes, baking pies, lighting candles and, especially, deep-frying turkeys. Working with pots of 300-degree boiling oil can be hazardous enough as it is, add misuse, carelessness and in many cases, alcohol, to the equation and these cookers are a disaster waiting to happen. While most fire departments and authorities recommend avoiding deep-frying your turkey all together, these tips will keep you safe if you simply can’t resist the deep-fried deliciousness:
- Only fry your turkey in an outdoor, well-ventilated area away from any buildings or combustible material.
- Place fryers on a flat, firm, sturdy surface – never on a wooden deck, in your garage or within your home.
- Fully defrost your turkey before placing it in the burner. Placing a frozen turkey in boiling oil can result in a fire or serious burns.
Overeating and Undercooking
While many joke about being “stuffed” after a hefty Thanksgiving meal, over eating can actually be a risk for some. Individuals with congestive heart failure, kidney disease, diabetes or high blood pressure can suffer serious side effects from the overconsumption of salt. If you or a family member has one of these health conditions and experiences excessive chest pain, see a doctor immediately.
Lastly, poor food preparation is also a Thanksgiving hazard. If your turkey isn’t heated properly or refrigerated afterward, you risk contaminating meat with bacteria like salmonella or listeria. Salmonella poisoning can cause diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps for up to three days. Listeria affects people with weakened immune systems like those with cancer, old age or pregnant women.
To learn more about keeping yourself and your family safe and happy over the holidays, visit Insurance Center Associates, today.