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Carving pumpkins and decorating the house are fun family traditions for Halloween. Unfortunately, accidents can happen. It's a good idea to take steps to keep from injuring yourself while carving. Here are some safety tips:

Prepare your Pumpkin - Moisture causes your hand or knife to slip.  Dry hands, pumpkins, and tools are a must.

Have the Right Tools for the Job - Pumpkin carving kits have been created to make carving easier.  The small saws and sharp plastic tools are easier to control and are less likely to get stuck in the pumpkin.  “According to a study in the Journal of Preventative Medicine, these tools cause fewer and less severe injuries than serrated or plain kitchen knives.”  If using a kitchen knife, sharper is not better. They often get lodged in the thick pulp and require greater force to remove. If your fingers are in the wrong place when the knife dislodges an injury can occur.

Hold the Pumpkin with Caution – Injuries usually occur when cutting towards your hand or when the knife slips out the other side of the pumpkin where it is being held.  Making small controlled cuts and using tools that cannot reach the other side helps reduce these risks. You can also use a carving board to steady the pumpkin as well.
Carving is for Adults – Little hands and sharp utensils do not mix.  Have them draw the pattern and remove pulp instead.
Adolescents Still Require Supervision – Carving parties are fun but filled with distractions.  If adolescents are getting together to carve pumpkins, an adult should be present to ensure the safe use of sharp carving tools.

Know First Aid for a Carving Injury – If an injury does occur, bleeding usually stops with direct pressure to the area.  Clean the wound and apply a topical antibiotic and a bandage. If your finger loses feeling or can’t move, the wound is deep or the entire width of your finger, or it is still bleeding after 15 minutes of pressure, go to the emergency room. 

via Dr. Grabow

Posted 4:40 PM

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