Wishing You A Happy—And Safe—Halloween
Pumpkin carving is a Halloween tradition. We’ve got some suggestions to help you protect your hands from injury as you transform your pumpkin into a grinning jack-o-lantern.
As October 31st approaches, glowing carved pumpkins appear on porches and walkways to celebrate Halloween, and light the way for trick-or-treaters. For many families, selecting the perfect pumpkins and carving them into spooky jack-o-lanterns is a creative annual tradition. We have some safety tips to keep your hands safe from orthopedic injury as you turn your pumpkins into festive symbols of the season.
- Use tools specifically designed for pumpkin carving. It takes less force to slice your hand than it does to carve a pumpkin. Pumpkin-carving kits are equipped with small serrated pumpkin saws that work better than regular knives because they are designed to cut through pumpkin flesh easily, without getting stuck. Also, knives designed for pumpkin carving require less force to use than kitchen knives, reducing the risk of accidental injury.
- Insist on adult supervision. A serious injury can happen in a moment when using sharp implements. Adult supervision is the smart way to make sure that children aren’t taking on tasks that they are too young to handle safely.
- Keep knives in adult hands. Pumpkin carving involves a number of steps, and some are safer than others. Encourage small children to draw out the design for the pumpkin face, scoop out pumpkin seeds and pulp, and separate seeds from pulp—if you are planning to toast your pumpkin seeds. The carving itself should be left to adults; handling knives is just too dangerous for children. When you do carve, cut away from your body and use short, controlled strokes.
- Work in a clean, dry area. Turning pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns can be a messy business. Pumpkin pulp makes hands and tools slippery, increasing the risk of injury. Do your carving in a work area that is clean, dry, and well lit. Before you pick up your carving tools, wash and thoroughly dry your hands, cutting tools, and your work surface.
With a little care and preparation, your pumpkin-carving activities will be injury free and the source of glowing holiday memories.