Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Have a Safe Thanksgiving!

A few "rules of the road" for Thanksgiving:
  1. Be extra careful if you are deep frying the turkey (check YouTube for videos where this tip was not heeded).
  2. Be careful driving (driving over the holiday can be extra dangerous as the weather isn't so good in most parts of the country, DUIs are usually up, there's more people on the road, and people are impatient).
  3. Be careful with the food (luckily the weather is cool most places so the rates of food poisoning don't usually spike but you still want to be careful to keep hot food hot and cold food cold.  If you have new people coming for dinner be sure to ask about food allergies before serving dinner).
  4. Fires and carbon monoxide poisoning cases pick up this time of year so be careful with candles and cooking fires and NEVER use outdoor appliances to heat the inside of a house or to cook on inside a house.
  5. Be aware that domestic violence also tends to spike around the holidays and take care to avoid volatile domestic situations.
  6. Know some basic first aid skills.  At the least it should be CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver.
  7. Ratchet down the stress.  Many people find the holidays stressful but they don't have to be. Start with the premise that it is a good thing to have food to eat and people around that you like and work up from there.  You don't have to spend a fortune on dinner and it doesn't need to look like Martha Stewart landed on your porch and you don't even have to be around people you don't like because, well, it's a free country.
  8. Monitor the alcohol.  Especially due to the aforementioned items.  Some alcohol can make a football game more interesting and your uncle more jovial but too much alcohol can lead to DUIs and domestic violence.
  9. Be aware of your kid's activities during the busy holidays.  With so much going on it could be easy to miss a kid who has ducked out or small children doing something they aren't supposed to do.  Check on the young'uns, as my cousin calls them, often.
  10. Do a "house check" after everyone leaves.  Toss leftover alcohol (so kids of all ages can't get to it), make sure all of the windows are locked (some people open windows to cool off the room but forget to close them afterwards), ensure that your forgetful Aunt didn't leave any of her prescription meds laying around (so kids and animals can't get to it), don't let pets get to the chocolate and don't overload them on scraps, etc.

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