Be safe this Thanksgiving

When the family gathers together for the Thanksgiving holiday, you want everyone to enjoy themselves and head home later with happy memories and smiles on their faces. But family gatherings, by their nature, can turn into emergency trips to the drug store for medical supplies, or worse, emergency calls to the E.R. or fire department.

While you probably can’t plan for every situation, you can be prepared with action plans in case your Thanksgiving gathering turns into something serious. Here are some home safety ideas to incorporate at your family get-together:

* The deep fat fryer can easily turn into a holiday fire safety risk. But if you want your turkey to come out golden, juicy and delicious, make sure you only use the fryer outside on a paved surface away from the building. Always keep an eye on it and keep children and pets away. Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before dunking it into the oil, and be careful to avoid splattering the oil, because it can quickly burn your skin.

* A friendly game of football after the big meal is a tradition for many families, but it can quickly end in injury. Set up rules before the game about contact, and have the players avoid consuming alcohol until after the game is finished. Consider having all players wear protective gear or at least helmets in case a player falls or hits his head.

* The kitchen can become a chaotic gathering place, which could easily result in injury during the prep time for the big meal. If too many “cooks” are gathered there, put some people in charge of other activities like setting the table and creating holiday decorations, or send them to another room in the house to play a game, watch a holiday video or catch a football game. Practicing kitchen safety tips can help prevent cuts from knives and burns from pots on the stove or in the oven. Have first aid supplies on hand for any minor injuries that can be treated at home.

* Good food safety is very important in preventing food poisoning. As you’re preparing the food for the big meal, make sure the items that need to stay cold are in the refrigerator or freezer until you serve them, and the items that are heated don’t sit out for very long while you try and prepare everything else. And once the meal is eaten, clear everything quickly from the table and properly store it in the refrigerator or freezer in sealed containers so it doesn’t spoil.

As the host of the Thanksgiving gathering, you want to have everyone leave with pleasant memories. By using these Thanksgiving safety tips and ideas, you can be prepared for any situation.