Pumpkin Carving Safety Tips
Fall is here, y’all! That means it’s pumpkin carving season!
Pumpkin carving is a favorite family fall tradition for many of us. From going out to the pumpkin patch, to selecting the perfect orange spheres. Then, on to picking the scariest faces to carve into them. Creating a unique Jack O’Lantern to light up your porch is a fun activity for everyone in your family!
However, this fun family activity can be hazardous; after all, you need to use sharp objects to make these spooky creations.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported 4,500 Halloween-related injuries treated in the ER in 2018. Of these, 27% included lacerations, ingestions, and other wounds associated with pumpkins, decorations, or costumes.
44% of Halloween-related injuries are from pumpkin carving.
Most of the injuries we see from pumpkin carving related accidents are stab wounds to the hand either in the fingers or the palm. Some stab wounds are severe enough to cause damage to tendons, nerves, or puncture an artery. We also see many cuts that require stitches.
To avoid getting hurt and having to pay us an unscheduled visit, we’ve put together a list of simple safety tips for you and your family.
Use a Pumpkin Carving Kit
Purchase a pumpkin carving kit at your local convenience store or purchase one online. They are relatively inexpensive and much safer than using a regular kitchen knife.
One of the biggest problems with using a sharp knife is that it often gets stuck in the thick skin of the pumpkin, and it requires force to remove it, which increases the chances of the knife slipping or cutting through to the other side where your hand might be holding the pumpkin.
Carving kits, on the other hand, have specially designed tools that can saw through the tough skin, poke holes, and scoop out the seeds. What is unique about these tools is that although they get the job done, they are not razor-sharp.
Leave The Top on While Carving
Most of us make the mistake of removing the top of the pumpkin along with the seeds before we start carving.
However, this can be dangerous as you will be tempted to place your hand inside the pumpkin to hold it while cutting out the face features. With your hand inside, if your tool slips you run the risk of cutting yourself.
Instead of removing the top, try cutting out the bottom of the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. This way you can later place the Jack O’Lanter on top of the battery-operated light to illuminate it.
Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.
Don’t Let Kids Carve
You can include the smallest members of your household by having them help scoop out the innards and select the Jack O’Lantern stencil design, or have them draw the face themselves.
The one thing you should never allow is for kids to handle sharp objects. If you have adolescents and you want to teach them how to carve, make sure there is always an adult closely supervising their work.
Always Cut Away From Your Hands
Proper cutting techniques may seem obvious, but when you are trying to get your carving done fast you may forget to check where your hands are.
Remember knives, and other carving tools are bound to slip at some point, and if you are not careful your fingers might be in the way, and you could get seriously hurt.
If You Get Hurt, Come to Altus Emergency Centers ASAP!
Even when you try to be careful, pumpkin carving accidents can still happen. If you get hurt and your wound is deep, or you can’t get it to stop bleeding you need medical attention.
Deep wounds need to be thoroughly cleaned by a medical professional, and you will probably require antibiotics to prevent infections.
At Altus Emergency Centers, we are all about family traditions, and pumpkin carving is at the heart of the fall season. This Halloween season make sure your pumpkin carving activities are fun and safe for everyone.