Thanksgiving CPR Safety
People are looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with their extended families in 2021 even more than usual. Availability of the Covid vaccine has moved the celebration from outdoors and back to the dining table. The last thing on most people’s minds is whether or not they have someone with First Aid training or CPR certification at the table. While worries over the pandemic are somewhat minimized, you should always keep Thanksgiving safety in mind. Knowing and preparing for some common holiday season injuries can help keep everyone in your family safe.
Safety Tips for Thanksgiving Travelers
If you are one of the many drivers planning to be on the road this Thanksgiving, be prepared before you leave the house. Thanksgiving is one of the holidays with the greatest number of travelers traveling by car. There’s also the potential for bad weather in some areas of the country. Some safety tips for Thanksgiving travelers include:
- Allow extra time to reach your destination. You don’t want to be in a rush when you hit traffic congestion.
- Have your vehicle serviced and make sure it’s operating optimally.
- Avoid traveling in the middle of the night when you’re more likely to be sleepy and fatigued. Plan ahead and allow for rest breaks when driving long distances.
- Check the weather report before you leave home. Prepare for any inclement weather and try to travel when it’s clear.
- Carry a first aid kit in your car. You never know when you might need to practice first aid on one of your passengers or on someone else. Also take along some blankets, water, and some snacks. Be prepared in case your car breaks down or you get stranded.
- Plan your route ahead of time and let a family member know when and how you’ll be traveling.
- Never drink and drive or use your cell phone while driving. Both forms of distracted driving increase your risk of getting in an accident.
Most Thanksgiving gatherings include at least a few guests who will drive significant distances through traffic. If this is you, prepare for your trip so you can arrive at your destination safely.
Cooking Safety During the Holidays
The kitchen is the most dangerous room in the house during Thanksgiving. Cooks often run in and out of the kitchen to attend to guests, leaving their cooking unattended. Any time you leave the stove turned on and don’t watch it, there is a risk of starting a fire.
Since the introduction of turkey fryers, the problem has grown even worse. Burns from these appliances are increasingly common and they often require medical care. Some of the most serious ones result in hospitalization and surgery. The oil in the fryer is heated up to 400° F – hot enough to cause third-degree burns requiring skin grafts to treat.
First Aid and CPR for Burns
Running cool water over the skin is usually sufficient for treating minor burns. The first objective in treating a first-degree and second-degree burn is cooling it. Do not use cold water or ice. The use of cool tap water is often effective. Once completely cooled, an antibiotic ointment cream can be applied with a sterile non-adhesive gauze bandage (not fluffy cotton). Those who experience the most severe burns and who suffer from smoke inhalation are at the greatest risk of serious injury or death. If they are unconscious, show no response, and have no chest movements, they require the urgent application of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
The best approach to kitchen safety is to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Some Thanksgiving safety tips for avoiding fires and burns include:
- Never leave the stove unattended. If you can’t stay in the kitchen while the stove is on, turn it off. In the time that it takes you to use the restroom and come back, a fire could already be out of control.
- Clean up any grease, fabrics, or paper on and around the stove before using it. Never hang curtains close to a stove. If a fire starts, these items provide the fuel that allows it to spread quickly.
- Wear clothes with short or fitted sleeves that won’t touch the burners.
- Frying foods, including those in turkey fryers, are the most dangerous for starting fires. Monitor the temperature and turn the heat off if there is any smoke or the oil begins to boil. Be extremely cautious when handling the pan or fryer that contains the grease.
- Never let children near the stove. In fact, it’s better if they aren’t in the kitchen at all.
- Keep pot handles turned away from the front of the stove. Curious toddlers can pull them over on top of themselves. Anyone passing by might also knock them off without realizing it.
- Check the kitchen to make sure every appliance you used is turned off before you sit down to dinner. Check it again before you go to bed in case a guest turned something back on.
- Cover burning pans with a lid. This cuts off the fire’s access to air so that it goes out.
Thanksgiving Safety at the Table
The meal is prepared, the table set, and everyone is ready to sit down and stuff themselves with turkey and all the fixings. You might think the hazards usually associated with the holiday feast were over. But there’s always a chance that something could go wrong. Some examples include:
- Food Poisoning – Maybe your relatives brought a favorite dish along without realizing it needed refrigerated. Or, it might have been left out on the kitchen counter too long. Of course, one of the biggest risks for food poisoning comes from the main attraction – the turkey. All it takes is thawing it out too slowly or at room temperature or not cooking it to the correct temperature.
- Cuts – It isn’t unusual for some people to end up in the ER with serious cuts after trying to carve the turkey. It comes in handy when a guest knows basic first aid. They can help treat the cut properly and tell when stitches are or aren’t needed.
- Choking – Choking is one of the biggest dangers at any dinner table or restaurant. Abdominal thrusts (also known as the Heimlich maneuver), is a technique used to dislodge objects stuck in a person’s airway, are taught in First Aid and in CPR classes. Not only do first aiders learn how to do chest thrusts and breathing techniques but they can also be able to tell the difference when someone is choking or they have a partially blocked airway.
Choking on food is especially common in the elderly and in young children. To prevent one of your family members from choking at Thanksgiving dinner, learn about choking prevention and take the necessary precautions to protect your guests.
Staying Safe During the Holidays
Teaching first aid and CPR to groups of employees in large companies and organizations has far-reaching benefits. It positions life-saving skills around other employees, clients, or anyone who frequents the facility.
First Aid and CPR training also benefit family members, victims of car accidents, and groups at social events. Anywhere a trained individual goes, they give injured individuals a better chance of recovering.
EMC is here to help you give your employees lifesaving skills in first aid and CPR. We also offer AED training and sales for those situations where cardiac arrest threatens to take a life. Give your employees the skills they need to save lives at work, home and anywhere they go.
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