Protect Your Hands – Tips to Help You Safely Carve Your Turkey

turkey carving tips

This Thanksgiving, ensure that the worst pain you endure is from indigestion, your football team’s loss, or perhaps a family squabble.  Each year, a surprising number of people make unexpected visits to the Emergency Room after a mishap with a turkey. (Carving accidents are one of the top five most common injuries on Thanksgiving). So how do you protect your hands this Thanksgiving and avoid being another statistic?   Here’s a few tips to help you safely carve your turkey.

Turkey Carving Tips

From the American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT) :

  • Keep your knife handles and cutting area dry to avoid slips
  • Good lighting around the cutting area is important
  • Keep all cutting utensils sharp. Using a sharp knife requires less force and lessens the likelihood your knife or hand will slip while carving. If you have one, use an electric knife.
  • Never cut toward yourself. Your free hand should be placed opposite the side you are carving towards
  • Don’t place your hand underneath the blade to catch the slice of turkey
  • Use kitchen shears to tackle the job of cutting through the bones

A few more tips:

  • Make sure you are comfortable carving the turkey – this is not a job for a first-time carver
  • Don’t let kids assist with the carving- this is not the time to get children involved in the festivities
  • Pay attention & focus on your task at hand – don’t get distracted when carving
  • Take your time – there is no need to hurry
  • Keep your cutting board stable with a non-slip pad or damp towel under it

If you do cut yourself, immediately clean your cut with warm, soapy water before applying a bandage. If bleeding continues after 10 to 15 minutes of applying direct pressure, get a ride to the closest ER. Even if the wound is small, if you have areas or numbness or your fingers won’t move normally, seek immediate attention for possible nerve or tendon damage.

Using these tips to carefully carve your turkey can help protect your hands and avoid emergency visits to the hospital this year.  Stay safe, eat, laugh and enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving!!

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