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Six Tips For Accident-Free Halloween Pumpkin Carving

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  • Written By: Joanne Zhang, MD

Each Year More Than 4,500 Hand Injuries Result from Pumpkin Decoration

Accidents from pumpkin carving rank as the number one Halloween injury in the US each year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Hoag Orthopedic Institute hand surgeon, Joanne Zhang, M.D., is offering tips to would-be pumpkin carvers to avoid harm.

“The pumpkin’s slick outer skin and its slimy insides contribute to more than 4,500 hand and wrist injuries each year,” says Dr. Zhang. “Just following a few safety tips will make sure the pumpkin, not the carving, is scary.”

When carving our frightening orange orb Dr. Zhang recommends:

Tip 1: Make sure your hands and carving tools dry and clean.

Tip 2: Keep your hands outside the pumpkin when carving!

Tip 3: Use dull serrated blades rather than traditional sharp knives.

Tip 4: Consider using knife alternatives, such as painting pumpkins or using colored markers as an alternative to carving. A carving kit with tools designed for the craft are safer for older children.

Tip 5: In general, it’s safer when adults do the carving, but If children do carve, they should do so in a well-lit area on a sturdy surface with adult supervision.

Tip 6: If an injury occurs, rinse the wound with clean water and apply an antibiotic ointment and a bandage. Seek medical evaluation within the first week of injury to catch any injury to tendons, nerves, blood vessels and bones to optimize recovery with early care.