Essentia Health wants you to spend Thanksgiving at home, not in the E.R.

It’s that time of the year when friends and family drive or fly across the country to come together and give thanks. However, in the process of celebrating with family, all too many people in our country are sent to the emergency room.

“When I’m working Thanksgiving, I know I’ll see more patients who were sent to the hospital instead of the dining room because of turkey deep fryers,” said E.R. Dr. Chris Anderson at Essentia Health-Fargo. “Bringing oil to incredibly high temperatures and then dunking a frozen turkey in it is asking for trouble.”

The National Fire Protection Association says in 2015, fire departments around the country responded to more than 1,700 cooking fires during Thanksgiving. Even if using a fryer doesn’t result in a fire, the oil can still splash on your hands or face and cause severe damage.

“Burns from hot oil could result in skin-grafts or infections,” said Dr. Anderson. “Even if you have just a minor burn, it could break open and get infected, causing very serious health concerns.”

After the family cleans up dinner, it’s time for the next great American tradition: Shopping. However, going to get the steals and deals can result in slips and falls or major parking lot problems. Progressive Insurance says it sees a 34 percent increase in crashes on Black Friday alone.

“I definitely see people come in on Black Friday who were hit by cars in parking lots. Granted, most of them are low-speed accidents, but can still be very serious,” said Dr. Anderson. “Aside from breaking bones or having some bruises, if a person falls head first on the pavement, we’re talking serious trouble.”

Whether the injury is severe or minor, we know you don’t want to see one of our doctors over the holidays. Please, make sure you’re cautious in the kitchen and careful in the car. Thanksgiving should be spent with your loved ones at home, not in an E.R. waiting room.

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