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Thanksgiving dinner: The leading cause of holiday injuries

Eatocracy: Making a Greenberg Smoked Turkey Ball

DENVER — Whether you deep fry the turkey or stuff it, one thing is for sure, according to a group of local medical professionals: The very tradition of cooking Thanksgiving dinner is the No. 1 cause of urgent care visits.

With that in mind Doctors Express has provided a list of the top five Thanksgiving injuries, what causes them and how you can prevent them.

1. Burns

  • A dangling sleeve can easily catch fire, so avoid wearing lose clothing.
  • Make ovens a kid-free zone.
  • Keep pot handles toward the back burners to reduce risk of knocking pots over.

2. Food Poisoning

  • Wash hands thoroughly when handling uncooked meat and keep it separate from other food.
  • Oven temperature when cooking a turkey should be no lower than 325 degrees and the turkey should be completely thawed before cooking.
  • A food thermometer must register a safe minimum temperature of 165 degrees inside the turkey.
  • Best to cook stuffing outside the turkey in a casserole, but if you choose to stuff a turkey, make sure the stuffing also reaches a temp of 165 degrees.

3. Cuts

  • Stay totally focused when slicing food
  • Don’t rush. Give yourself plenty of time to carve slowly.
  • Give the carving duty to the most experienced carver.

4. Sprains, strains and fractures

  • Take a break after eating before you rush out to play with the family.
  • This isn’t the NFL and you are out to have fun, not win the Heisman Trophy or impress relatives and friends.

5. Heartburn

  • Many people eat too much, 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.
  • Eat slowly
  • Take breaks in between courses
  • Keep antacids on hand