Tricks and tips for safe pumpkin carving

February 16, 2017

Carving a Halloween pumpkin can be tricky. If you're not careful, you could end up being treated in a hospital emergency department.

It happens to plenty of people every year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. A slip of the knife cuts a hand or a finger, and suddenly your Halloween decorations aren't the scariest things in sight.

Here are some tips for carving with care:

• Be sure your pumpkin, your hands and your tools are dry.

• Carve in a well-lit area.

• Let children draw the design and scoop the pulp. Assign carving duties to adults only.

• Use a pumpkin carving kit. Its saw-like tools work better and are safer than knives, which don't move easily through pumpkin skin.

• Cut in short, controlled strokes. And always cut away from yourself.

If you do cut a finger or hand while carving that pumpkin masterpiece, put direct pressure on the wound, using a clean cloth, for 15 minutes. If bleeding doesn't slow or stop, you may need to go to the emergency department.

Additional source: American Society for Surgery of the Hand

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