Thanksgiving poses serious injury risks from car accidents, house fires, cooking burns and cuts, slip-and-falls, and heart attacks. Unfortunately, many of these injuries result in death for thousands of Americans each year.
[Article continues below infographic]
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year thousands of people end up in hospital emergency rooms due to injuries on Thanksgiving Day. Injuries caused by car crashes, kitchen fires, and burns, cuts from carving the turkey, falls from spilled liquids and icy sidewalks, and sudden heart attacks and strokes happen every Thanksgiving across the country. Thanksgiving injuries range from minor burns and cuts to fatal car collisions and heart attacks.
National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) accident reports show that Thanksgiving Day is the most dangerous driving day of the year. Cold weather conditions that put snow and ice on the roads, speeding drivers, and drunk motorists cause thousands of fatal car accidents each year.
Kitchen Fires and Burns
Thanksgiving is about sitting down to dinner with family and friends, so cooking is often the main focus. Preparing and cooking a huge turkey or ham, a variety of side dishes, and desserts often lead to grease fires in the kitchen and serious burns. When cooking on outdoor gas grills or deep frying a turkey, explosions, and fires often cause severe burns and deaths.
Carving the Turkey
The annual Thanksgiving ritual of carving the turkey sends many people to the hospital with serious cuts each year. Thanksgiving meals usually require a lot of chopping of fresh vegetables and fruits, so safety is key in the kitchen. For safety, only experienced carvers and cooks should handle sharp knives while preparing Thanksgiving meals.
In Chicago and Northeastern areas, Thanksgiving usually brings cold temperatures, freezing rains, and snow and ice. Streets and sidewalks are often covered in snow or ice, so slip-and-fall accidents commonly account for a variety of injuries including sprains, fractures and broken bones, back and neck injuries, and head trauma.
Heart Attacks and Strokes
Research shows that coronary deaths increase by as much as 33 percent during the Thanksgiving holidays. Health experts say that the rise may be contributed to increased food and salt intake, alcohol consumption, and a rise in stress while traveling. People with high blood pressure may forget to take their medications and ignore signs of heart problems during the holidays.