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Common Hazards and Safety Tips for Thanksgiving

As the holiday season is approaching, it is important to be cognizant of common risks. This year, due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there is even more hazards. Being aware of the common hazards one faces during the Thanksgiving holiday will help minimize injuries and illnesses.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidelines for gatherings during Thanksgiving. The guidelines present some considerations for keeping families safe from the virus. The best way to stay safe during the pandemic is to stay at home and celebrate with immediate family or household members. One does not have to forego the holiday festivities, cooking, decorations, and celebrating, a person only has to limit guests in their household and should avoid traveling.

What Activities Should be Avoided During the Holiday Season?

Some activities during the holidays are riskier than others. The CDC has categorized certain activities:

Low-risk activities include:

  • Having a small dinner with household members.
  • Preparing meals and sharing with others.
  • Virtual gatherings.
  • Shopping online for Black Friday deals.
  • Watching television at home.

Moderate-risk activities include:

  • Small outdoor dinner gatherings with family and friends who live in the same community.
  • Visiting pumpkin patches, farms, and orchards.
  • Small outdoor sport events where precautions are taken.

High-risk activities include:

  • Shopping on Black Friday at crowded malls.
  • Attending large indoor gatherings with individuals from outside the household.
  • Participating in or being a spectator in crowded areas.
  • Using drugs and alcohol that impair judgment and increase risky behaviors, contributing to increased exposure.

Should I Avoid Traveling?

Due to the pandemic and limitations, individuals may have to restrict travel. Traveling increases the chance of infection and contributes to the spread of the virus. Car travel increases the chance of having to stop along the journey to get gas and food. Staying at home is the best way to prevent exposure.

If one decides to travel, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Do not travel if one is sick, has a cough, fever, or other symptoms.
  • Avoid close contact with other people and maintain at least six feet distance.
  • Maintain hygienic practices by washing hands with soap frequently and using sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol content.
  • Avoid touching one’s face, eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Do not travel when exposed to another person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is sick.
  • Wear a mask at all times at the airport and on board an airline flight.
  • Before traveling, check the rates of infection at the place of destination, if the infection rates are high, avoid traveling there.
  • Individuals with underlying conditions and other vulnerabilities are at risk and should avoid traveling.

When traveling by road, it is important to make sure the vehicle is in good condition and that one has a car safety kit. It is also recommended that drivers check the weather report to ensure that it is safe to travel.

Also, it is critical that motorists follow all traffic rules in order to prevent car accidents. Do not drink and drive or drive while drowsy. If one plans to travel, they should inform a family member or friend about their plans in case an emergency occurs.

Safety Tips for Preparing Thanksgiving Dinner

If one plans to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner, they should be aware of common hazards. Some safety tips include:

Fire Prevention

Home fires are common during the Thanksgiving holiday season. In order to prevent fires and related injuries, one should do the following:

  • Stay home while cooking.
  • Avoid wearing loose fitting clothes.
  • Keep children and pets away from steam, hot oil, other liquids, flammable materials, and barbeques.
  • Never leave the stove, oven, or candles unattended.
  • Monitor the food.
  • Clean and clear the cooking area.
  • Turn off the burner and other equipment after cooking.

Also, a critical tip is to check fire alarms and smoke detectors to make sure they are working properly.

Staying Safe in the Kitchen

Besides fires, there are other dangers in the kitchen. One should practice the following safety tips while cooking:

  • Keep pan and pot handles away so that they do not protrude. A person can bump into them and accidentally cause hot food to spill.
  • Check the stove, gas grille, or oven to make sure they are off after cooking is completed to prevent gas from leaking. 
  • Use timers as reminders to check on the cooking food, and turn off burners and ovens.
  • Keep hazardous materials, such as flammables and knives, away from the reach of children.

Cook Food Thoroughly

When handling turkey and other meats, it is important to wash hands constantly.  It is also important to keep raw meats away from fresh fruits and vegetables to prevent contamination. Additionally, knives, cutting boards, and utensils should be thoroughly cleaned before and after use.

Use a food thermometer to check that turkey and other meats are cooked thoroughly. Refrigerate leftover food into small batches, and store foods within a few hours to ensure they are healthy for later consumption.

What Should I Do After I am Injured in an Accident?

It is important to have a first aid kit ready to use in case of an injury. Online sources can be used to learn about how to treat cuts, burns, and how to assist someone who is choking. Contact first responders immediately when there is an accident or injury.

Even though this year may create additional hazards due to the pandemic, a person can create a festive atmosphere by enjoying holiday food, gathering with loved ones online, or by using safety precautions. If an accident or injury does happen, a victim should contact a lawyer about their legal options.

Towson Personal Injury Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Provide Legal Counsel to Accident Victims

If you were injured in an accident, one of our Towson personal injury lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC can help. Contact us online or call us at 443-589-0150 for a free consultation. Located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we serve clients throughout Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County.

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