Tips for safe Pumpkin carving this Halloween

When you think of Halloween many ghoulish visions enter your mind. Elaborate costumes with make-up, masks, and props, enough candy to terrify any dentist, tricks and treats for celebrators of all ages, and of course getting together with the family and carving pumpkins. Whether you are creating the next Michelangelo masterpiece or a simple smiley face, carving pumpkins is an essential part of the Halloween celebration for many. You must be sure to exercise caution when cutting and slicing your gourd or the ghastly and gruesome celebrating could end with an extremely serious injury.pumpkin carving

Halloween is one of the top holidays to produce emergency room visits. According to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, hand related injuries rise up to 5 times higher than normal during this time of year. Along with grisly physical injuries, many pumpkin carvers add a candle to light the jack-o-lantern. This creates a whole other array of precautions that should be taken. Here are some ideas to keep in mind to ensure that your celebration is safe and fun:

  • Ensure that you are carving in a dry and well lit area. Make sure that the work area stays as clean possible. All cutting utensils should be dry and cleaned regularly so that they do not get too slippery. Keeping your hands dry will also help to maintain a good grip.
  • Do not let children carve pumpkins unsupervised. You should always monitor their activity to make certain they are following proper safety  Small children should never use any sharp utensil or knife. They can still be involved by drawing on the design or digging and scooping out the pulp and seeds from the inside.
  • Leave the top on the pumpkin until the end. This will help to prevent your hand from being inside the pumpkin while you are cutting your pattern into the surface. A small slip or puncture is all it takes to produce a horrific injury.
  • Always use the correct tools and utensils. Carving kits have been designed to maintain safety while cutting into your pumpkin. These tools are usually much smaller making them easier to handle as well as made out of plastic. Even though they are duller that regular knives, they are designed to effectively cut into the flesh of the pumpkin with less likelihood of causing a deep penetrating cut should an accident occur. Many of these blades also come with serrated pumpkin saws which will allow for better control of your cuts. There are even scoops that help to clean out the innards without being sharp enough to cut you.
  • Knowing how to treat an injury should one occur is very important. Generally most bleeding can be stopped with direct pressure. You should clean and dry the wound and apply a cloth or bandage to the injury directly for approximately 15 minutes. If the bleeding does not stop in this time, you should seek medical help and go to the emergency room.
  • jackolanternsNever leave a lit candle on the inside of the pumpkin unsupervised. If an object was to blow into the flame or the pumpkin gets knocked over, you run the risk of a much larger fire potentially occurring in your home. Instead of a lit candle, a flashlight or flameless candle are great alternatives that have no danger of igniting anything.

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