Thanksgiving is right around the corner and like everything else in 2020, it may look a little different this year. However, this challenging time also reminds us of the importance of giving thanks and celebrating safely with our families. To help, Cedar Falls Public Safety offers these guidelines for you and your loved ones during the upcoming holiday:
No Place Like Home
As the community continues to work through the COVID-19 pandemic, certain traditional Thanksgiving events now come with heightened risks of spreading the virus including large family or friends gatherings and traveling. To help limit potential exposure of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends celebrating with people only in your immediate household this year.
Alternative ideas for family gatherings include the use of videoconference, sharing photos, hosting a virtual dinner, or even writing letters to loved ones (artwork from the kiddos!) to include extended relatives and friends into your celebration safely. Virtual family gatherings can also include games and sharing recipes. Another way to reach out to friends, neighbors, and families during the holiday is to prepare your favorite dishes and deliver them in a way that does not involve physical contact such as leaving them on the porch.
In your household, you can also find new ways to enjoy the holiday like encouraging your family to write (or draw) what they are thankful for, participating in a family game night, or prepping a Thanksgiving backyard scavenger hunt for your little ones.
To learn more about preventing the spread of COVID-19 this year, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/thanksgiving.html.
Did you know Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment? Kids love being involved with holiday preparations and it is important to take precautions during this busy time, especially in the kitchen:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
- Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
- Keep children away from the stove. Explain to your children that the stove is hot and also that it will remain hot for a period of time, even after it is turned off. Always keep kids 3 feet away from stoves.
- Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
- Keep the floor clear so you don't trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
- 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.
- Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children - up high in a locked cabinet.
- Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
To help young children enjoy the holiday and avoid potential dangers, have activities that keep them out of the kitchen. Games, puzzles, and books can help provide needed distractions. Additionally, Thanksgiving decoration arts and crafts can be a great way for them to be included in the preparations, while staying clear of dangerous appliances. If your child enjoys helping make dinner, provide them with recipes that can be done outside the kitchen and always have an adult help with the task.
We wish you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!