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 and carving area. 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. Sharper isn’t always better. 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.” Plastic tools, like those found in pumpkin carving kits, 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.” When it comes to actually carving the design, the adult should take the reins.
- 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, safer ways to decorate pumpkins – for example, painting them or using cookie cutters to create fun shapes and designs without the use of a sharp knife.
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