Commentary

November 22, 2013

Safety Office explains top five reasons for Thanksgiving Day urgent care visits

Tech. Sgt. Ramone Hayes
99th Air Base Wing Safety Office

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — As Americans, we rejoice and celebrate the upcoming holiday season.

However, Thanksgiving is the leading holiday for urgent care visits during the holiday season.

Whether it is a burn, cut, food poisoning, sprain, strain or fracture or as simple as heartburn, have we learned anything from the mistakes we have previously made?

The event is designed to test teams resilience and teamwork, building a culture of Airmen with the mindset to choose to invest in themselves rather than choose a destructive lifestyle.

Awareness of the top five reported injuries associated with the Thanksgiving holiday can improve your safety along with a few recommendations.

To avoid burns there are a few guidelines to help ensure safety. Avoid wearing lose clothing; a dangling sleeve can easily catch fire. Make your kitchen, especially around ovens, a child-free zone.

Keep pot handles toward the back burners to reduce risk of knocking pots over.

Food poisoning can be avoided by adhering to a few guidelines. Wash your hands thoroughly when handling uncooked meat and keep it separate from other food. When cooking a turkey, the oven temperature should be no less than 325 degrees Fahrenheit and the turkey should be completely thawed before cooking. A food thermometer must register a safe minimum temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit inside the turkey. Lastly, it’s best to cook your stuffing outside the turkey in a casserole but if you choose to stuff your turkey, make sure the stuffing also reaches a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

To avoid getting cut ensure you remain focused when slicing food, give yourself plenty of time to carve slowly and give the carving duty to the most experienced carver.

There is also a risk of getting sprains, strains and fractures. Ensure you take a break after eating before you rush out to play with the family and remember your limitations. Just have fun and avoid trying to impress relatives and friends.

Heartburn can also be a possible safety issue. Many people eat too much and too fast on Thanksgiving, which can quickly cause heartburn, indigestion and create chest pain. This can feel like a heart attack, which leads people to seek medical attention. To combat this eat slowly, take breaks in between courses and keep antacids on hand.

On behalf of the 99th Air Base Wing Safety Office, have a great and safe holiday season!




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