Will you be carving pumpkins this weekend?

Do your weekend plans include carving a pumpkin?  According to American Academy of Orthopedic  Surgeons, “the most common Halloween injuries are severe hand injuries from pumpkin carving and leg and extremity injuries due to falls from long costumes and/or costumes that impair vision.”  Of those severe hand injuries, 41% were caused by pumpkins. (Consumer Product Safety Commission 2017 stats)  Dr Sanj Kakar of the Mayo Clinic, says that “almost one-third of those Halloween hand injuries are among kids 10 to 14, with most happening when people carve pumpkins”.  Before you start to carve your pumpkin prep the area, make sure your cutting area is in a clean, dry and well-lit area.  Always have adult supervision.  Dr Kakar suggests not using a kitchen knife but using specific carving knifes for pumpkins.  Pumpkin carving knifes are designed to not stick to the pumpkin skin which can be safer. If you are planning on lighting your pumpkin, one thing that may be safer is cutting the bottom of the pumpkin to remove the insides.  Cutting the bottom makes lighting placement easier and you will not be tempted to stick your hand inside when cutting the surface. Make sure that you cut away from yourself and use short controlled strokes and use a hand directly opposite of where the cutting is occurring to brace the pumpkin. (safety first consulting)  You can also use non cutting techniques to decorate your pumpkin.  Painting or markers can be a safe way to decorate your pumpkins.  If you do suffer a cut apply pressure to the wound with a clean damp cloth.  UPI health suggests that if the bleeding doesn’t stop in 10 to 15 minutes to seek medical attention.   In 2017 there were 3200 pumpkin carving accidents (CPSC), don’t be a 2019 statistic and stay safe while carving pumpkins.