With Halloween being this weekend, we know pumpkins are being carved in preparation for display. While usually not thought of as a dangerous activity, injuries from knives or other tools used for carving can require surgical repair and sometimes take multiple months to rehabilitate. Here are a few safety tips to help keep you away from our clinic!
- Be sure that the tools you plan to use, as well as your hands, are dry before you begin carving. This will help prevent any injuries that may occur from slipping.
- Purchase a pumpkin carving kit that includes a small serrated knife. This is safer than using a large sharp knife.
- Cut away from yourself and use small, controlled strokes.
- Be sure that the hand you are using to stabilize the pumpkin is not in a location that the knife could contact if it slips or pierces through both sides of the pumpkin.
- Find appropriate ways for children to help. They can scoop the seeds and draw the pattern on the pumpkin, but in most cases should not be handling the carving knife. You can also consider painting or applying stickers to your pumpkins instead of carving them.
- If you plan to put a lit candle inside your pumpkin, consider cutting a hole in the bottom of the pumpkin. This way you can place your pumpkin on top of the candle, rather than reaching into the pumpkin to light the candle (which may result in a burn).
- If you cut your hand or finger, apply direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth. If the bleeding doesn’t stop or slow after 15 minutes of continuous pressure, head to the emergency room.
If you do sustain a hand injury this Halloween season our team at the Milliken Hand Rehabilitation Center is here to help!