Reduce burn risks on Thanksgiving

For millions of Americans, Thanksgiving starts in the kitchen. Thanksgiving also is the busiest day of the year for cooking fires, said the National Fire Protection Association. Dr. Vidor Friedman, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, recommends that cooks and their helpers avoid doing too many things at once. "Burns, fires or lacerations happen when you lose concentration, get careless with hot liquids or oils, or try to slice things too quickly," Friedman said. Emergency physicians also recommend having a smoke alarm near the kitchen and a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, avoid wearing loose clothing that can catch fire while cooking and keep cooking areas as clear as possible.

Quitting smoking? Call help line

Smoking is the most preventable cause of death in the United States and is associated with cancers of the mouth, nasal cavities, larynx, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, cervix, kidney, bladder and leukemia, said the LaSalle County Health Department. Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits, including reduced risk for heart disease and certain cancers. For help in quitting smoking, call the Illinois Department of Public Health's Quit Line at 866-QUIT-YES.

Food safety vital during holidays

With all the cooking happening on Thanksgiving, the odds of people getting sick with a foodborne illness increases. Illinois Department of Public Health and the McLean County Health Department recommend that people reduce their risk by thawing turkeys in the refrigerator; washing their hands, cutting boards, dishes, utensils and countertops before and after preparing each food item; keeping raw foods away from cooked foods; using a food thermometer to make sure meat is fully cooked (cook turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees); and refrigerating leftovers within two hours. The USDA's Meat and Poultry Hotline is 888-674-6854.

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Health Reporter

Health reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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