5 Thanksgiving Health Hazards to Avoid

Along with turkey and stuffing, Thanksgiving serves up plenty of health hazards.

— -- intro: Along with turkey and stuffing, Thanksgiving serves up plenty of health hazards.

While the deadliest day of the year is Christmas, according to one University of California San Diego study, Thanksgiving has more than its share of pitfalls. Read on for five big ones.

quicklist: 1 category: Holiday Health Hazards title: Car Accidents url: text: This year, the National Safety Council predicted, there will be 418 traffic fatalities and another 44,700 injuries from car crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. That’s down from a high of nearly 500 crash-related deaths in 2008.

More than 40 percent of holiday car accidents involve alcohol, according to the National Highway Safety Association. But more than 150 lives will be saved by seatbelts, the NSC said. media:27136191

quicklist: 2 category: Holiday Health Hazards title: Holiday Heart Syndrome url: text: Overindulging on turkey day wine, especially if you’re older and obese, can disrupt regular heart rhythms leading to “Holiday Heart Syndrome” an American Heart Journal study showed way back in 1978.

Further strain on the ticker comes from digesting a massive meal. As a recent University of California study found, cheering for a losing football team resulted in a 15 percent spike in heart attacks among men and a 27 percent spike among women. media: 27136340

quicklist: 3 category: Holiday Health Hazards title: Fires url: text: More than 4,000 fires occur on Thanksgiving Day, U.S. Fire Administration statistics revealed.

One culprit: Deep-fried turkeys. Each year, they cause approximately five deaths, 60 injuries, the destruction of 900 homes and more than $15 million in property damage, the National Fire Protection Association reported. media: 27136022

Cooking to an internal temperature of 165 degrees is the best way to avoid poisoning, FSN advised. As for leftovers, store them within two hours or toss them. media: 27137159

quicklist: 5 category: Holiday Health Hazards title: Pets url: text:Because turkey bones splinter, they can may choke dogs or cats, the Veterinary Medical Association warned.