Thanksgiving can be a wonderfully busy time when friends and family gather to celebrate the season and show gratitude. Yet, the holiday rush that comes along with this festive time of year can also be a recipe for an unexpected trip to urgent care. Burns and cuts are the most common reasons Michigan Urgent Care sees patients on Thanksgiving Day. By planning ahead and following a few simple steps you can help keep your Thanksgiving safe, enjoyable, and pain free!
Common Thanksgiving Injuries
- Burns are often caused when hot surfaces are accidentally touched. Severe burns are caused by cooking flare-ups and fires. While the kitchen is often the gathering place, set up an area for guests away from the kitchen. This will create a stress-free environment and allow Thanksgiving Day chefs to stay alert.
- If you plan to fry a turkey, be sure to thoroughly defrost the bird in the refrigerator. Any amount of moisture or ice crystals produces steam when it hits the hot oil, which will quickly ignite when it come in contact with the burner.
- For grease flare-ups while cooking or frying, cover the pan if you are able. Never throw water on a grease fire. Instead, dump baking soda on the pan, or use a fire extinguisher for larger fires.
- Cuts are common when rushing through meal preparation. Be sure to always use a cutting board, cutting away from the body, and never cut food in your hand.
- Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to prep food to avoid feeling rushed, resulting in cutting yourself and not the food.
- Burns and cuts in children often occur when little hands try to sneak a taste as food is still cooking, or reach onto countertops where knives might be placed.
- Set up a play area with a healthy snack station, like fresh cut fruits and vegetables, to keep children from being tempted to enter the kitchen.
HOME TREATMENT: Burns
- Run cool water over minor burns. First degree burns (redness, swelling and pain) and second degree burns(redness, blisters, severe pain) can be treated at home by running cool water (not cold) over the affected area for at least 10 minutes, and loosely wrapping the burn in sterile gauze.
- Take over the counter pain relievers.
HOME TREATMENT: CUTS
- For cuts, stop the bleeding by applying a clean cloth or bandage over the cut and applying pressure. Don’t peek! It may take upwards of 30 minutes for the bleeding to stop.
- Clean the wound by rinsing the area under cool water. Soap is not needed as it may irritate the cut.
- Place an antibiotic cream like Neosporin or Polysporin on the area. Cover the wound with a bandage or sterile gauze.
WHEN TO SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION
- Seek medical attention when minor burns are larger than three inches, or if on the face, hands, buttocks or groin. Third degree burns (black, charred skin), especially those over a large area of the body, require emergency treatment.
- If the cut is 1/4 inch or more deep, has jagged edges, or fat, muscle or bone is visible, seek medical attention. Keep a clean cloth and pressure applied, and raise the area. Change the cloth if it becomes saturated with blood.
With a little planning and extra time for preparation, your Thanksgiving celebration should be safe and free of any accidental injuries.
Should an urgent care be needed, all ten of the Michigan Urgent Care clinics are open every day, including holidays.
Best Wishes for a healthy and happy Thanksgiving celebration!