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Hand Safety When Carving Pumpkins

Most people’s favorite part of fall centers around Halloween: costumes, crisp leaves, trick-or-treating, and, of course, pumpkin carving. For the traditionalists, there are the whimsical jack o’ lanterns; for the creative, there are negative space carvings or silhouettes; and for the ambitious, there are bas-relief engravings that allow their pumpkins to shine even during the day. However, each of these styles requires sharp instruments, which is one of the main reasons that Halloween results in so many injuries. Almost 20{8a84bec29f0c6191c5749bf28eb523294366e43ed833a200fa3533daa6774e4e} of these are hand injuries, many of them occurring in children.

Pumpkin Carving Safety

Regardless of your carving style, there are a few things you need before getting started. Begin with a clean, dry pumpkin and a well-lit carving area. If your pumpkin is wobbly, make sure to slice off the bottom to ensure a stable canvas. Turing your pumpkin into something spooky is a family activity, and it should remain one for the whole process; adult supervision is the best way to prevent hand injuries.

Children should rarely be doing the actual carving themselves. However, there are some tools specifically designed to allow children to take part. These usually come in kits which include small, serrated, blunt-tipped carving saws; scoopers; templates; and pokers (to trace the template with).

Make sure to never cut toward yourself, be aware of your hand placement, and use a gentle back-and-forth motion. When it comes to your knife choice, sharper is not better. Kitchen knives, though sharp, offer little control and require more force to cut. Small serrated blades often work best.

What to do if an Injury Occurs

If an injury does occur, apply pressure with a clean cloth until bleeding stops. Remove any jewelry that might impede blood flow or compress nerves if swelling is a risk. If the cut is minor, clean with warm water and soap, use antibiotic ointment and a sterile bandage, ice and elevate. Call 911 if bleeding does not stop after several minutes, blood is spurting, coldness or numbness is experienced, or amputation occurs.

Contact the Experts at Atlanta Hand Specialist

Get back into the spirit of the season as quickly as possible with the expert care at Atlanta Hand Specialist. For any and all injuries requiring surgery or special treatment, experienced doctors at all six of our locations are here to help. Call 770-333-7888 or book an appointment online. Same-day appointments are available.

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