According to an article published by Consumer Reports, hospitals and emergency departments see four to five times more hand injuries during the month of October than usual. The most common hand accidents and injuries are related to pumpkin carving.
For many, carving pumpkins is an annual tradition. However, pumpkins can be slippery, tough and difficult to work with...let alone create a design on. This Halloween, keep these safety tips in mind when you’re carving your pumpkin masterpiece:
- Prep Your Pumpkin-as we mentioned above, it’s important to keep your pumpkin dry, so it doesn’t slip out of your hands when carving. Place newspaper under your pumpkin and have paper towels handy. Also make sure your carving area is well-lit.
- Pick Up the Proper Tools-we’ve all seen them in the stores, the pumpkin carving kits with designs and plastic tools. Although they might not be as sharp as a kitchen knife, sharper is not always better in this case. According to Jeffrey Wint, MD, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, “A sharper knife often becomes wedged in the thicker part of the pumpkin, requiring force to remove it and could result in injury if your hand is in the wrong place.” The plastic tools are less likely to get stuck and aren’t sharp enough to cause a deep cut.
- Leave Carving to the Adults- allow the kids to trace their design and dig out the seeds and pumpkin “guts.” Take over the reins when it comes to actually carving the design.
- Have a First-Aid Kit Handy-Should an accident happen while carving, Wint suggests applying direct pressure to the injury with a dry, clean cloth. If bleeding doesn’t stop after 15 minutes, you may need to seek medical attention.
- Keep Your Options Open-there are other ways to decorate pumpkins, according to Better Homes and Gardens. Options include painting pumpkins, which could be safer for smaller children or using cookie cutters to create fun shapes and designs.
However you plan to decorate your pumpkins this year, make sure you consider these safety tips. Here are few more Halloween-related tips to keep in mind before October 31 arrives: