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Holiday Heart & Tipsy Toddlers: Doctor Offers Advice On How To Stay Out Of The ER On Thanksgiving

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- As you prepare to sit down with family and friends for Thanksgiving, we have a warning about some holiday hazards.

There's nothing like an unexpected trip to the hospital to take the happiness out of the holidays.

So why do tens of thousands of Americans end up in the ER on Thanksgiving?

Cutting and carving are the main culprits.

"This is one of the most common times we see injuries to the index fingers, the thumb ... It's so important that if you carve a turkey, you have to carve away from you and not toward you," says Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency department doctor at Lenox Hill Hospital.

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He says another issue this time of year is something they refer to in hospitals as "holiday heart."

"Basically, people overindulge. They drink too much alcohol, they eat too much, and then all of a sudden there's a surge of our stress hormones," Glatter told CBS2's Jessica Layton. "This causes the heart to speed up at very rapid rates."

Anyone who hasn't worked out in a while might want to consider sitting out of this year's backyard football game.

"In the midst of these games, we see lots of people with knee injuries. They may fall and have a wrist injury, a fracture," Glatter said.

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Burn injuries are also common on Thanksgiving and not just from frying that turkey outside, but inside the kitchen as well. Glatter reminds us that a hot stove top and loose-fitting clothing can be a bad combination.

Then there's what's known as the "tipsy toddler" -- when little hands get ahold of glasses of alcohol left on tables and countertops.

"This could actually lead to low blood sugar and trigger a seizure," Glatter said. "Sleepiness is the number one symptom."

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