23 Nov

20 Safety Tips for Thanksgiving 2020


Thanksgiving 2020 safety tips

Keep You And Your Loved Ones Safe During An Unprecedented Thanksgiving Holiday With These 20 Thanksgiving 2020 Safety Tips

Thanksgiving is typically a time for traveling, gathering with family and loved ones, eating, shopping, ushering in the Christmas season, and celebrating the many reasons we have to be grateful. However, many people don’t know that the date actually also signifies the start of the most “dangerous” time of the year in terms of accidents. Statistically, most deaths and accidents that occur annually in the U.S. happen disportionately from Thanksgiving to the end of the winter/holiday season. Some of this is due to weather conditions and other uncontrollable seasonal changes, but many accidents and fatalities are also caused by Thanksgiving-related activities.

This particular Thanksgiving – November 26th, 2020 – carries new and increased risks. What are the best ways to stay safe on Thanksgiving 2020 while still enjoying the holiday celebration?

The Florida Law Group is an elite personal injury law firm serving injured accident victims in Florida. We have offices Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Brandon, New Port Richey, Largo, and Wesley Chapel; since 1984, we have been giving sound legal advice to clients and helping them fight for maximum compensation! We desire that no one is injured in a Thanksgiving-related accident. However, we are here to support you and your loved ones in the event that a Thanksgiving 2020 accident does happen. In this blog post, we wanted to share our best safety tips for this Thanksgiving in hopes that this practical advice will help you and your family stay safe during this unique Thanksgiving situation!

Here are 20 Thanksgiving 2020 safety tips:

For avoiding COVID-19…

1. Keep gatherings small – only with the people you live with – or host a virtual Thanksgiving.

To view a list of the full and official CDC Thanksgiving recommendations for the pandemic, you can visit their website. Coronavirus cases are hitting record levels all across the country, and health workers and health experts are pleading with Americans to do their part. Even though the idea of not seeing family for Thanksgiving is incredibly difficult and sad for many people, in order to avoid transmitting the disease and overwhelming our nation’s hospitals, the CDC is asking Americans to stay home and keep their Thanksgiving gatherings limited to the people who live in the same household. If extended family still wants to celebrate together, the CDC is recommending virtual activities, or a virtual dinner, to replace in-person contact.

2. Avoid traveling by plane.

Even though airports have done their best to take safety precautions, being in an airport and on a plane with others who may or may not be wearing masks puts you at risk for being exposed to COVID-19 and transmitting the virus, perhaps unknowingly, to others. If you must travel (which the CDC is discouraging), consider taking a road trip instead of flying, so there is less chance of exposure. Wash your hands and wear a mask when stopping for fast food, using gas station restrooms, or sleeping in hotels (if applicable).

3. Host gatherings outside instead of inside.

If you are hosting people in your home or visiting others, gather outside instead of inside, setting up a long table or multiple tables in a backyard space. This allows you more space to social distance; indoor spaces have less ventilation and increase chances of getting/spreading COVID-19. It could also be a chance to enjoy the fresh air after so many months of quarantine!

4. Wear masks while not eating.

If you are gathering with others who do not live with you, wearing masks and socially distancing is the safest way to conduct Thanksgiving this year. Obviously, wearing masks while eating is not realistic, but consider spacing out the seating and wearing masks before dinner and after dinner is finished.

5. Wash your hands and disinfect often; use single-use food items and keep the kitchen restricted to only a few people.

When less people have contact with the food other people are eating, the likelihood of transmission is decreased. Use single-use packets of dressing, seasoning, etc. to avoid passing around a single item around the table. Use disposable utensils; keep everyone from going in and out of the kitchen and instead rely on only a couple people to prepare and serve food.

For traveling…

6. Have your car serviced before you leave.

If you do decide to travel via car, and your car is not properly maintenanced, accidents and injuries could occur. It is your responsibility to make sure your car’s tires are full and prepped for any conditions, including snow and ice you may encounter if you are traveling north. Blowing a tire can be dangerous if you are traveling at high speeds on a highway. Make sure your brakes are in good condition, your windshield wipers are working properly, and you are not overdue for an oil change.

7. Get a good night’s sleep the night before a long drive.

Many road trip travelers attempt to leave extremely early in the morning to beat traffic. While there is nothing wrong with this strategy, there is a clear problem with going to bed at 11pm, only to wake up at 3am to pack the car and leave at 4am, planning on driving for 8 hours straight. That’s a recipe for disaster – drowsy driving accounted for 91,000 motor vehicle crashes in 2017. Get a full 7-8 hours of sleep, whether that means going to bed earlier, packing the car the night before, or leaving later!

8. Make frequent rest stops to stretch and re-energize.

Driving for long periods of time can lead to listlessness, drowsiness, and physical issues with your discs and muscles. Sitting is not great for your body’s health, so stopping every couple hours to rest, stretch, hydrate, and eat is the best way to ensure you make it to your destination safely!

9. Share your location/itinerary with a friend or family member.

In today’s technological age, it is not as easy to get lost, but in the event of an accident or car trouble, it’s important to have family and friends that know when you are leaving, where you are going, what route you are taking, and when you plan to arrive at your destination. Share your location with them on your cell phone, or give them a map, or otherwise find a way to include them. If you do not arrive safely, they will know right away and will be able to call emergency services or locate you.

10. Don’t drive distracted or drunk.

It’s easy to get bored on long drives, but scrolling through social media, texting friends, or responding to emails is not the answer. Over 9 people die every single day because of someone who was texting and driving, or changing the radio station, or not paying attention. Put the distractions away and focus on getting to your destination safely! If you have a spouse or family member in the passenger seat, they can function as your navigator, text updates for you, etc.

Alcohol consumption is another major factor when it comes to Thanksgiving travel safety. If you drink at dinner, make sure you are sober before getting behind the wheel, for Black Friday shopping or traveling back home or anything else. Even driving buzzed or tipsy is illegal and dangerous, and can have serious consequences.

For cooking and eating…

11. Cook the turkey properly to avoid food poisoning.

Undercooked turkeys and meat can lead to bacterial food poisoning. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the turkey is fully cooked. The CDC recommends all turkeys be cooked at a minimum of 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Stuffing should always be cooked outside the turkey.

12. Use sharp knives and safe cutting techniques.

It is easy for dull knives to slip. Use sharp knives, and always cut food away from you, carefully paying attention to what you are doing and ensuring your fingers are not in danger of being sliced if the knife does slip. Secure the cutting board so that it does not move around while you are cutting (a potential injury hazard).

13. Never leave cooking food unattended.

Thanksgiving is the number one day of the year for house fires to occur, which makes sense when you think about all the food being cooked and the familial distractions that come with the holiday. Focus on what you are cooking, do not leave appliances on when they are no longer being used, keep children out of the kitchen, and do not leave the kitchen unattended. Move items that can burn away from the stove. Fires can start in an instant, and are not always predictable. Also, make sure your turkey is fully thawed before cooking; the moisture of a frozen turkey can be flammable when it comes in contact with oil.

14. Use mitts and other protective equipment.

To reduce the risk of being burned by a hot handle or pan, use an oven mitt when in the kitchen, and have a fire extinguisher handy if possible. Avoid wearing loose clothing, like dangling jewelry or sleeves. Kick as many people out of the kitchen as possible; when more cooks are involved, there is a greater chance of bumping into each other or into hot items.

15. Turn off appliances before leaving the kitchen or house.

After the Thanksgiving meal is done, it is easy to forget the kitchen, to want to relax and watch a movie, let other people handle the cleanup, leave for Black Friday shopping, or even go out to see Christmas lights. However, it is extremely important that you turn off or unplug all kitchen appliances, such as ovens, stovetops, etc., to decrease the chances of a fire.

For shopping/decorating…

16. Shop online, or from outdoor markets.

Black Friday is a beloved post-Thanksgiving tradition, but it isn’t going to look the same this year. Because of COVID-19, Black Friday 2020 will involve a lot more shopping online. This helps you stay safe and keep others safe from possible exposure, and also limits your time on the road and chances of a vehicular accident. If you want to shop local and those stores do not have online options (which many do), see if there are any outdoor markets happening near you or if you can shop at a time where local stores may be less crowded.

17. Consider curbside pickup.

If you do need to go out shopping, contactless curbside pickup or drive-up delivery is an option that many retailers are offering this year. This is an option that also limits exposure.

18. Wear a mask.

If you do curbside pickup or actually go in stores this Black Friday 2020, remember to wear a mask inside the store and around others outside if social distancing is not possible.

19. Practice ladder safety.

Hospital emergency rooms treat thousands of people every year who were injured from falls involving holiday decorations. You should exercise caution and never use furniture as a ladder (not chairs, not tables – use a real ladder), and always keep three points of contact on the ladder (either two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand). Have someone holding the ladder or next to the ladder who can help you if you start to fall. For extension ladders, follow the 1-to-4 rule; for every four feet the ladder rises, move the base out one foot from the structure.

20. Inspect electric lights.

Check electric lights before stringing and plugging them in to make sure they are not cracked, wires are not frayed, etc. Broken lights or wires are a fire hazard!

Stay safe and have a wonderful holiday by following these 20 Thanksgiving 2020 Safety Tips! If you are injured in an accident on Thanksgiving Day 2020, call our law offices right away. We can explain your legal options, give you a free case review, and stand up for the compensation you need to heal!