Play it Safe this Thanksgiving


Accidents and injuries don’t take a holiday. As you prepare for your Thanksgiving festivities, remember to keep safety at the forefront of all you do.

While cooking: 
Food safety is of the utmost importance when preparing a holiday feast, especially if young children and older adults are enjoying the meal.

• Be sure to keep hot foods at 140 degrees or warmer and cold foods at 40 degrees or cooler. If perishable food has sat out for longer than two hours at room temperature, it should be thrown out, as bacteria can grow rapidly and cause illness. 
• Don’t thaw your turkey on the counter or in hot water. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends thawing it in the refrigerator; assume it will take 24 hours for every five pounds of turkey. 
• The USDA also recommends not washing your turkey—it can cause cross contamination to other foods you’re preparing. 

While carving:
The American Society for Surgery of the Hand website has several tips to avoid injury when carving your Thanksgiving turkey:

• Use a sharp knife; a dull one can cause slips, yet still can injure. Avoid slips by keeping your knife handle and cutting area dry. An electric knife is a good option to use for carving. 
• Do not cut toward yourself or put your hand under the blade to catch the cut meat. Be sure to place your free hand opposite the side you are cutting toward. 
• Use kitchen shears to cut bones.

While exercising:

• If you’re participating in a 5K or other physical activity on Thanksgiving, make sure to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest the week prior. 
• Before the activity, stretch to reduce the chance of injury. Don’t forget to do some dynamic warmups—or continuous, repetitive movement—such as high knee, butt kicks or other quick motions to help direct blood flow to your body’s areas used while running. 
• Don’t overdo it! If you’re not used to running or physical activity, consider modifying the activity to your fitness level, such as walking the 5K instead of running it. 

If you do experience a mishap this Thanksgiving—or anytime throughout the year—LifeBridge Health is here for you. ExpressCare Urgent Care Centers can treat minor to moderate cuts and abrasions, burns, sprains, broken bones and more.

If your injury requires immediate attention, our emergency departments throughout the Greater Baltimore area are always open.