Injury Prevention, Self Care, Hand and Wrist, Safety, Neck and Back Pain
Nothing ruins a Thanksgiving celebration faster than a severe injury. Yet, every year people are rushed to emergency rooms for carving, frying and lifting accidents associated with the holiday. Keep your Thanksgiving Day feast a little safer with these tips.
Turkey fryers have become commonplace in many households as a “quick and easy” way to cook a whole turkey. Unfortunately, the process also has caused many serious injuries. Here are a few reminders to help you stay injury-free while deep frying your turkey this year.
For more detailed information about turkey frying, consult your turkey frying manual or visit https://www.themanual.com/food-and-drink/how-to-deep-fry-turkey/.
Washing, stuffing and placing a 15- to 20-pound bird into a hot oven or taking the hot roasting pan out of the oven causes many people to bend their backs abnormally. To minimize your risk of injury, remember to:
Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Resting the turkey allows the meat to reabsorb the juices, moistening the meat and minimizing the amount of liquid that drains out of the bird while slicing.
After your bird is cooked and the meat has rested, it’s time to slice and dice it for the serving platter.
To begin carving, place the turkey on a solid surface. (The turkey breast should be facing upward and the legs should be pointing away from you.) Many people find covering a cutting board with a towel holds the turkey in place and makes carving easier.
According to the American Society of Hand Surgeons, there are some basic rules to remember as you prepare to carve your turkey.
Choose the right utensils. An electric knife is best for slicing through a roasted turkey, but if one if not available, use a 7-inch or 9-inch carving knife. Make sure your knife is sharp before you begin. Consider using kitchen shears for hard to cut areas.
Carve with a hand towel nearby. As you carve the turkey, you’ll release juices, which can make the knife handle slippery. Use a towel or paper towel to keep the handle dry and your grip firm.
Cut and carve away from your body. If the blade faces away from you, you’re less likely to slice your skin. As you cut, be aware of the position of your supporting hand. Turkey carving instructions suggest you remove the legs and thighs first, then the wings, and finally, the breasts.
Turkey carving is not the only reason holiday hand injuries send people to the hospital.
Thanksgiving often overloads the dishwasher or brings out the best china. Many of the serving dishes, plates, glassware and cups need to be washed by hand.
Use care when handwashing glassware. Hot soapy water can make glassware slippery. Dropping Gramma’s prized dinnerware in the sink increases your risk of cuts. Broken glass concealed by sudsy water can cause deep gashes or sever nerves and tendons. Take care if you are part of the dish crew.
If you or a family member does experience a laceration during your Thanksgiving Day celebration, apply the basic principles of first-aid.
If your cut is minor:
Go to the emergency room or Walk-In Care clinic if:
According to Bone & Joint’s hand surgeon, Pamela Glennon, MD, even minor injuries have the potential to interrupt the hand’s complex movement. If you experience any decrease in hand function, you should be examined and treated as soon as possible to minimize the impact of the injury and preserve your future range of motion.
If you experience a non-life-threatening injury that causes pain, numbness or interferes with your ability to move your wrist or hand, call Bone & Joint at 800.445.6442 to be seen by one of our orthopedic specialists.
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