The hand surgeons at DMOS Orthopaedic Centers encourage safety to avoid being spooked by a pumpkin carving injury this year.
Pumpkin carving accidents can occur in both adults and children. Injuries from pumpkin carving can range from superficial lacerations to stab injuries. With deeper injuries, tendons, nerves, and arteries can be cut. Deeper injuries can require surgery and extensive rehabilitation.
Take these precautions when carving pumpkins:
- NEVER let children carve.
- Use a pumpkin carving tool kit.
- Do NOT use a sharp knife to carve.
- Dry your hands and tools before carving.
- Carve the pumpkin away from the body on a flat surface.
- Remove the seeds with a spoon.
- Start carving your design at the top of the pumpkin and work down.
- Stabilize the pumpkin by placing your spare hand on top of it.
- Step back at least two arm’s length away if you are not the carver.
Other ways to stay safe include avoiding the pumpkin carving process completely by using carveless, virtual pumpkins or pumpkin decorating kits. If you still choose to carve pumpkins, be sure to use a pumpkin carving tool kit. These special kits are available in stores and include small, serrated pumpkin saws that work better because they are less likely to get stuck in the thick pumpkin tissue, and are less likely to cause a deep injury to the carver if a cut to the skin occurs.
If you are injured while pumpkin carving, wash the wound with soap and water and use a bandage while applying pressure. Most superficial wounds stop bleeding within a few minutes; avoid checking the injury too frequently to see if it is still bleeding since this could disrupt a clot. You should seek medical attention at DMOS Urgent Injury Clinic or your local Emergency Room if bleeding does not stop within 10-15 minutes of firm pressure or if you have any new numbness, tingling, severe pain or loss of motion of any finger joint. The DMOS hand surgeons can provide excellent care for more serious pumpkin carving injuries.
Injury prevention is the best treat!
Have a safe and happy Halloween!