UCAOA wants patients everywhere to have a safe Thanksgiving gathered around the dinner table, not an ER waiting room. But if needed, most urgent care centers are open Thanksgiving Day to conveniently and quickly treat minor injuries and illnesses – from burns or broken bones to the flu and strep throat.
Treating Cooking Burns
Cooking injuries peak on Thanksgiving, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Here are tips for treating burns if they happen:
- First degree burn – A first-degree burn only affects the top layer of skin, and some swelling and redness may occur. These burns can generally be treated at home with a cold compress.
- Second degree burn – A second-degree burn is moist and painful with blistering and swelling that usually lasts for at least 48-72 hours. Immediately submerge the area in cool water, then loosely wrap in sterile gauze. To avoid infection, visit an urgent care center as soon as possible.
- Third-degree burn – A third-degree burn may be caused by steam, hot oil, grease, chemicals, electrical currents and hot liquids, and should be treated at an ER.
Preventing Foodborne Illness
Thanksgiving turkeys may contain salmonella, a bacteria which can cause food poisoning. Always thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator for three to seven days. Never thaw a turkey on a counter, and thoroughly wash hands and utensils immediately after they come into contact with raw meat. Also, make sure the turkey is safe by cooking the bird and stuffing to an internal temperature of 165°F. And while leftovers are always a highlight of Thanksgiving, make sure they are kept refrigerated to avoid spoiling.
Caring for Minor Injuries
Thanksgiving brings lots of fun – and potential for lots of injuries. Here are tips for caring for two common issues:
- Sprained ankle from touch football game – R.I.C.E – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate. Rest the injured limb, ice it with a cold pack in a cloth, compress the area with an elastic wrap or bandage and elevate the limb above the heart.
- Minor knife cuts – Wash hands to prevent infection, then apply gentle pressure with a sterile bandage or clean cloth with the wound elevated above the heart. Once bleeding has stopped, clean it with soap and water and apply an antibiotic ointment and a bandage. If the wound appears serious, a provider at a local urgent care center can stitch the wound.
Have a lovely and safe holiday!