Pumpkin carving is a fun activity for both children and adults on Halloween, but carving can be dangerous. Pumpkins are difficult to cut through due to their thick shell, making it easy to cut yourself while carving. Each year, hand surgeons see thousands of finger and hand injuries on Halloween that can range from small cuts to necessary finger amputations. In fact, Halloween is one of the top three holidays that lead to the most emergency room visits each year.
The American Society for Surgery of the Hand urges you to stay safe this Halloween! Here’s how to carve a pumpkin safely:
- Be sure your carving space is clean, dry and well-lit. Your hands should be dry, as should all of your tools.
- Adults should always do the actual carving. Let the children draw an outline on the pumpkin and clean out the pulp.
- Don’t use kitchen knives. Super sharp knives can get stuck in the pumpkin and be difficult to pull out. Instead, use a serrated pumpkin saw from a carving kit.
- Always carve away from the body, not toward the body, in case of a slip. Carve slowly and steadily.
- Explore alternatives! Pumpkin decorating kits are safe and equally fun.