GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) – Nothing screams Halloween like pumpkin carving with friends and family! Unfortunately with just one slip you could go from a pumpkin party to a pumpkin problem. Emergency rooms all over the nation see a spike in hand and finger related injuries due to pumpkin-carving accidents. Here’s 5 tips to help make sure you’re carving season goes smoothly!
It is recommended that children under the age of 14 really shouldn’t be doing the “cutting”. If you want to avoid a lot of accidents let the kids design the pumpkin but leave the cutting to the adults! If they want to be apart of the “carving” process have them help you take out the pulp instead. It’s a fun task for them to do and it doesn’t actually require any sharp utensils at all so there’s a lot less risk of any accidents occurring.
2. Have The Right Tools
It’s a lot safer to use a special carving kit rather than kitchen knives or other sharp items when carving pumpkins. The tools found in carving kits are smaller, not as sharp, and easier to control making it less likely to get any lacerations or puncture wounds. If you’re planning on carving pumpkins or have kids who want to carve some pumpkins this Halloween, it would be a good idea to pick up some of these special carving kits to ensure everyone is having fun and safe at the same time.
3. Technique! Technique! Technique!
You could have the all the best intentions of being careful and you could be using the safest carving kit out there however you could still run into some problems if you’re using the wrong technique! The most common reason that carving accidents occur is because people hold the pumpkin in one hand and cut TOWARDS the hand holding the pumpkin. If you hit a soft spot your carving utensil could potentially go right through the pumpkin and into your hand! OUCH! Don’t let that happen, cut away from your hands.
4. Moisture Is A No-No
Moisture causes slippage. Your knife can slip, your hand can slip, even your pumpkin can slip! All of these can cause injuries so if you’re carving into a pumpkin this season you need to make sure that you’re taking the necessary precautions to minimize moisture. Make sure your pumpkin and tools are drying before you start carving and make sure you have paper towels or towels on hand to wipe your pumpkin, tools, and hands when need be.
5. Set The Scene
The best way to practice safe carving skills is to make a safe carving environment. There are a few things you can do to your surrounding areas to reduce your carving risks. Make sure you have plenty of lighting. This way you can see where your knife is and where you’re carving at all times. Make sure you have lots of space. You need to be able to spread out, especially if there are a lot of people carving all at the same time. You don’t want to be too close because you could potentially bump into one another and accidentally slice yourself or someone else. Lastly make sure your tools and everything you need is within reach. You don’t want to constantly be reaching for your tools especially when you’re working with sharp objects.