Thanksgiving in Maine

Guide To Partying Without Injury


In 2009, an article was published by FORBES that cites Thanksgiving as being the deadliest holiday of the year.  Usually due to cars and alcohol, the death count for Thanksgiving continues to be at the top of the national list. Even though Maine has been cited as one of the top alcohol abusing states, there are other problems with family, too much food, too much drink and a host of other activities that may lead to a really messed up week.


Not all Thanksgiving injuries in Maine are fatal and not all involve an “incident” or accident. If all you are worried about thanksgiving is drunk drivers, read below for a list of common health setbacks that occur at Thanksgiving in Maine.


1. The Headache.  Tension headaches are caused by stress. Pain and tension is often felt creeping up the neck and into the back of the head, up over the ears and into the forehead or behind the eyes.   These headaches are common and sometimes debilitating, even leading to migraine headaches.  The cause of these headaches, stress, is often triggered by family discussions, in-laws, stressed family members and spouses, screaming babies and the thought of travel.  Eating too much can also lead to tension that has in some, caused headache. If you want to curb your stress without adding the chemical stress of alcohol, consider an herbal supplement known as “Formula 303”.  Produced by Dee Cee Labs, this magnesium, valerian root, passion flower combo is consistent, reliable and helps most with stress reduction and muscle relaxation.


2. Back Pain.  Back pain from travel, sitting around a table, drunken falls down steps or off curbs, post meal lounging may all contribute or directly lead to low back pain at Thanksgiving.  To reduce risk of back pain related to sitting, get up, move around and stretch a little.  If you have driven a long way to get to the table, be sure to move around before planting yourself in the next seat. Sometimes it’s not the current activity that leads to the problem but rather a buildup of stress from activities earlier in the day, week, month or lifetime of a person.  Sitting around a table being questioned about your future will only set things off.


Be careful how you lift that turkey!  A huge bird can lead to huge problems. Lift with your legs and hold the big guy close to your heart.  Holding a big bird out in front of you can injury your low back, sending you to the couch for the rest of the night.  Nobody wants to miss the cribbage competition after dinner!


3. Hangover. Don’t drink too much alcohol, drink more water. A bad hangover is a sign of heavy chemical stress on the body. This stress can lead to poor sleep position which leads to aches and pain in the morning when you may have to get up and drive home. It can screw you up for days to come.  Sometimes it’s the things you do unknowingly while sleeping off the alcohol that end up being worse than the things you did while awake. Thanksgiving in Maine doesn’t have to be soaked in alcohol.


4. Slip. Fall.  Slips and falls are common if ice is present. Add a full belly to offset your balance, 5 glasses of wine and this is a recipe for cracking something open other than another bottle of vino.  A broken leg, hip, wrist or arm will set you back and make for an unpleasant holiday season.  If you must walk on ice while wasted, wear anti slip shoe covers with spikes to prevent a head or other injury. Did you know that slip and fall broken hip injuries in the elderly are one of the leading causes of death among our seniors?


5. Broken Noses.  Broken noses and fat lips happen if family members don’t get along.  Kissing someones fist with your head can lead to whiplash like neck injuries that create tension and instability, inflammation and pain that will hurt in your head and neck, even down in to your shoulders and mid back. If you must fight, throw food not punches. A night in the ER will ruin days to come.


6. Choking.  Don’t choke, but if you must, make sure that the party has identified in advance those who feel comfortable performing the Heimlich Maneuver. Don”t eat, laugh, talk and move at the same time.


7. Burns.  Though you may have turkeys in your family, keep them out of the turkey frier.  Hot grease and human skin don’t mix well. Call 911. Don’t overfill your turkey frier, or leave it unattended. Best yet, read the instructions before you fry your bird.  Don’t drink and fry, alcohol and hot oil don’t mix..  Keep kids away from the frying.  Make sure the turkey is completely thawed.  Have a fire extinguisher that can be used on oil fires available, Don’t fry inside or under a roof.


8. Chomper Cracks. Don’t use your teeth to open bottles, crack bones of the turkey, twist caps or test the integrity of hard metal objects.  Nothing spoils a day more than an emergency trip to a dentist, or even worse, an exposed nerve in your tooth 5 minutes before sitting down to eat. Your teeth are made for chewing food. Your teeth come in limited numbers and once destroyed are very expensive to replace. The fastest way to land on the people of Walmart website is to lose your teeth. Sucking turkey and stuffing that’s been blended in aunt Ruthie’s nutri bullet is no way to spend the holiday.


Thanksgiving in Maine is no riskier than the rest of the country.  Common sense (which is often absent) and a plan to keep things low key can help reduce the risk of injury to you, your family and friends and to the turkey.  Although many would like to take the rest of the week off, most people don’t want to spend the week in the ER or at the doctor’s office.



land, Maine (207) 774-6251

Thanksgiving in Maine – Injury avoidance guide – Portland, Maine (207) 774-6251