LITCHFIELD – Fall has arrived, the leaves are changing and pumpkin patches are open for families to select the perfect gourd for carving. Each year emergency rooms across the United States see patients with injuries to the hands and fingers from carving pumpkins – sometimes requiring surgical treatment.
HSHS St. Francis Hospital offers these tips to keep you and your family safe during your Halloween and autumn celebrations:
- Supervision required. Adults should always be present during pumpkin carving activities. Involve children by letting them draw the pattern to carve, but leave the cutting to adults.
- Setup your operation. Just like operating rooms, you need good light and a clean, dry space to carve your pumpkin.
- Skip the scalpel. Avoid using very sharp knives that can become anchored into the pumpkin or go through the other side potentially causing injury. Consider purchasing tools specially designed for pumpkin carving to reduce your risk of injury.
- Take your time. Surgeons don’t rush through procedures, and you shouldn’t either! Plan and be patient while creating your Halloween décor.
- Don’t get burned. You carved a pumpkin avoiding scrapes and cuts – don’t risk a burn injury. Use battery-operated lights or glow sticks to light up your creation.
If you sustain a pumpkin carving injury, seek help – call 911 or visit the St. Francis Hospital emergency department.