Pumpkin Carving Safety

With Halloween just around the corner, it's time to start thinking about your holiday décor . Jack-o-lanterns are one of the cornerstones of Halloween decorating, so we just know you've spent some time selecting the best pumpkins to carve. At Resurgens Orthopaedics, we think pumpkin carving is a wonderful activity for families to participate in together. We also know that carving pumpkins is responsible for almost 3,200 injuries every year in the U.S. alone, mostly consisting of serious cuts that can damage muscles, tendons, and even bones. If you're planning on carving some Jack-o-lanterns this year, please review these pumpkin carving safety tips to help you and your family prevent injuries.

Children Should Always be Supervised While Carving Pumpkins

As we mentioned earlier, pumpkin carving is a fun family activity for people of all ages but that doesn't mean it's kid's stuff. If you have little ones who want to get in on the fun, be sure they have adult supervision at all times and that they're not handling knives at all.We suggest letting the kids draw their designs on the pumpkin so an adult can help them cut out the shapes.For young kids, you may want to consider taking the knives out of the equation altogether. Paint, stickers, and glitter can all make a great-looking pumpkin, and they'll completely eliminate the potential for cuts and other knife-related injuries.

Get Yourself a Pumpkin Carving Kit

You know what they say: always use the right tool for the job. While many of us are tempted to break out the largest butcher knife in our inventory for pumpkin carving, these actually aren't the best tool to use. When you use a large chef-style knife to carve pumpkins, it can actually bind up and get stuck in the pumpkin flesh, creating the potential for an accident when you try to dislodge it. Instead of using a big sharp knife, check your favorite grocery store or craft store for a pumpkin carving kit! These kits contain special serrated knives and other tools specifically designed for carving pumpkins. By using one of these kits, you'll significantly reduce your odds of ending up in the emergency room this Halloween.

Carve in a Well-Lit Area

Now that you've got your tools squared away, it's time to prepare your workspace. First and foremost, be sure your carving area has a light overhead so you can see what you're doing. After all, you don't want to be taking a stab in the dark! You'll also want to make sure you have plenty of room to work, and that your work area is clear of debris or other items that could trip you up and lead to an accident. Once you have a safe place to work, lay down some newspaper and have fun!

We hope these tips will help you have a safe pumpkin carving experience this Halloween, but if you do have an accident, don't panic. Keep a first aid kit nearby when you're carving, and if you suffer a minor cut, apply pressure using a clean gauze pad until the bleeding stops, then apply a bandage .If you're not able to stop the bleeding within a few minutes, you may have a more serious injury, so it's best to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

From all of us at Resurgens Orthopaedics, have a happy (and safe) Halloween!