Pumpkin carving: Safely enjoying a seasonal tradition

Archive, Month, October

Countless mishaps have quickly led to a trip to the ER.

This time of year can get tricky (or treat?), and the last thing you need is blood on your hands.

In the weeks and days leading up to Halloween, local ERs often see a significant spike in deep cuts and lacerations resulting from a slip and slice of a pumpkin carving mishap.

A few simple pumpkin carving tips can save anyone from a trip to the ER and some potential stitches.

Leave it to the grown ups

You have to walk before you can run, and you have to watch before you can carve.

Young children should engage in the carving by first watching and learning. Keep them interested by allowing them to draw pictures and design the images until he or she is old enough to properly and safely handle a carving knife.

Set up in a dry, well-lit area

After washing your hands and the pumpkin itself, let it set until it’s completely dry as well as your own hands. Any moisture increases the likelihood of a slip.

Once it’s dry, make sure you have plenty of light before making the first cut.

Cut away from yourself

Any mistake or mishap can happen in a split second. Minimize all risk by cutting and slicing away from yourself.

Use a kit

Special, inexpensive kits are readily available in stores this time of year. They include a small, serrated knife that is less likely than a sharp kitchen knife to lead to a potentially dangerous mishap.