Pumpkin carving is a lot of fun; hand injuries are not. You may just get a cut, but severe injuries to tendons and nerves can occur. Some of these injuries may require surgery. Use caution and follow these pumpkin carving safety tips.
Use only tools designed for pumpkin carving. Most hand injuries are due to using kitchen knives. Whether serrated or plain blade, they are sharp and can cause injuries. Tools designed for pumpkin carving are shorter, smaller bladed and do not have sharp points.
Carve away from your hand. Accidents are frequently caused by making cuts toward a hand and the knife slips. If you are holding the pumpkin steady with your hand at the top, cut away from your hand toward the bottom. Move the pumpkin as you change the direction you are cutting.
Make cuts away from you.
Don’t yank when attempting to remove a jammed knife. Knife jamming usually occurs with kitchen knives because they are sharp, but may occur with pumpkin carving tools. Don’t pull sharply on the knife/carving tool when attempting dislodge it. Yanking the knife may result in an eye injury. Instead, rock the knife and gently push it in and out. Eventually, enough rind will be removed so the knife will slip out.Keep the pumpkin, your hands and the tools you are using clean and dry as you work.
Children younger than 14 years of age can help by cleaning the pumpkin off, removing the pulp and poking the design into the pumpkin. They should wait until they are older before using pumpkin carving tools.
Make small cuts. Short cuts are less likely to cause the knife to jam. Work slowly and carefully.
First Aid for Cuts
Seek medical help for a cut that doesn’t stop bleeding after 15 minutes, fingers go numb, a severed finger or deep punctures or cuts. For minor wounds clean with soap and water, then apply pressure to the wound until it stops bleeding.
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