specializing in advanced surgical care of hand, wrist, and elbow injuries and conditions

Thanksgiving Hand Safety

Carve Your Turkey Safely!

Carve Your Turkey Safely!

Shorter days and cooler temperatures are signs that Fall is in full-swing and the holidays are quickly approaching. As we prepare to kick off the holiday season, nothing says Thanksgiving like family, food, and football. To make sure we enjoy this time of year it is important to keep safety in mind during holiday preparations.

Each year at Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season people sustain hand injuries while preparing the holiday feast. Injuries related to carving the turkey or main course are one of the top five most common injuries on Thanksgiving, however this is not the only culprit. Many hand injuries are related to “clean up”. Handling slippery soap-covered dishes or having crystal glasses break while washing can also lead to serious hand injuries such as nerve and tendon lacerations. There are some important safety tips that may help prevent this Thanksgiving from turning foul due to a hand injury!

Safety tips

  • Use sharp utensils for cutting and carving, this will prevent the need to exert excessive force when cutting.
  • An electric knife is preferable. Use shears for cutting through bones of the turkey.
  • Never cut toward yourself. This can cause a very serious injury. The free hand should be placed opposite the side you are carving toward. Never place your hand beneath the blade to catch the slice of meat.
  • Your work area should be kept dry, including the utensils used for carving. A wet or moist handle of a knife can cause incidental slippage of your hand down the blade resulting in a serious cut. A well-lit area will be safer as it allows you to see everything more clearly and may prevent an accidental slip of the knife.
  • Do not allow children to assist with this part of the preparation. They do not yet have adequate strength, dexterity and safety awareness. There are plenty of other things they can help with.
  • If an unfortunate cut occurs be sure to clean and dry the wound site and place prolonged pressure on the area. In most cases bleeding will stop on its own. If bleeding does not stop you may need to go the emergency department.

When to see a hand surgeon

You may need to see a hand surgeon if you have numbness and tingling that does not go away. You may also need see a hand surgeon if you are unable to bend or straighten your hand or finger or if your injury site becomes red, swollen, warm to touch or a yellowish discharge is noted.

We hope you find these tips helpful. Stay safe and enjoy the feast. Happy Thanksgiving from Dr. Casey Burke and everyone at Hand Surgery Associates!