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Atrium Health Navicent Physicians Offer Tips for Safety in Preparing Thanksgiving Meal

For many families, the kitchen is the heart and central hub of the home — especially during the holidays. Between roasting a turkey and baking a pumpkin pie, everyone enjoys being a part of the preparations.

Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires with more than three times the daily average for such incidents, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Atrium Health Navient physicians urge the community to keep safety in mind while preparing holiday meals, especially when there’s a lot of activity at home.

Physicians offer these safety tips.

• Never leave cooking food unattended. If you must leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.

• Stay at home when cooking your turkey, and check on it frequently.

• Move items that can burn away from the stove. This includes dishtowels, bags, boxes, paper and curtains.

• Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.

• When frying food, turn the burner off if you see smoke or if the grease starts to boil. Carefully remove the pan from the burner.

• Keep a pan lid or a cookie sheet nearby when cooking. Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire. This will put out the fire. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

• Turn pot handles to the back of the stove, so no one bumps them or pulls them over.

• Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on. Check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving home to ensure all stoves, ovens and small appliances are turned off.

• Keep children — and pets — at least three feet away from the stove.

• Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.

• Keep knives out of the reach of children.

• Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.

• Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

“Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for our many blessings, including our health. By keeping safety in mind while preparing holiday meals, our community can avoid injury and stay at home to enjoy the holiday with loved ones,” said Dr. John Wood, medical director of the Emergency Center at Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center.

If an accident or injury occurs, seek appropriate medical treatment. For emergency situations, call 911 or seek care at the nearest emergency center. Atrium Health Navicent offers emergency care at the following locations:

• Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center (770 Pine St., Macon)

• Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital (888 Pine St., Macon)

• Atrium Health Navicent Peach (1960 Hwy 247 Connector, Byron)

• Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin (821 North Cobb St., Milledgeville)

• Monroe County Hospital, an Atrium Health Navicent Partner (88 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Forsyth)

• Putnam General Hospital, an Atrium Health Navicent Partner (101 Greensboro Road, Eatonton)

For non-life-threatening injuries, visit your nearest urgent care provider. Atrium Health Navicent provides urgent care at three Macon locations.

• Atrium Health Navicent Urgent Care North (3400 Riverside Drive, Macon)

• Atrium Health Navicent Urgent Care East (1339 Gray Highway, Macon)

• Atrium Health Navicent Urgent Care Northwest (5925 Zebulon Road, Macon)

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visit www.NavicentHealth.org.