October is filled with trips to the pumpkin patch and for some unlucky people, trips to the emergency room. Hospitals see a rise in hand injuries each year as pumpkin carving takes place as a family tradition for many people. To keep your family activities festive and fun rather than painful and dangerous, follow these tips for safe pumpkin carving.
Keep It Clean
Before you begin carving your pumpkin, you should make sure you have a clean working area. The area you choose should be well lit and dry to avoid accidental slipping or mistakes. Some of the things you should wash and thoroughly dry before carving include:
- The pumpkin
- Your hands
- The carving surfaces
- Any other sharp carving or marking utensils
- Adult Supervision is Key
Hospitals often see children with injuries from cutting without supervision, which is something that can be easily prevented. Even if you think your child can handle it, you should always supervise the carving process, and the sharp carving utensils should be left to an adult. Your child can still enjoy outlining the design, cleaning out the pumpkin, and seeing the final product without putting themselves in harm’s way with sharp knives and carving materials.
Knives Shouldn’t Be Sharpened Before Use
You may think sharpening your knives before carving will make for smoother cuts, but this isn’t always the case. Sharper knives can smoothly go through the side of a pumpkin, causing a severe injury to your hand or finger. Use your knives as you normally would without any additional sharpening. If a knife becomes lodged in the pumpkin, be sure to slowly pull it out while being aware of your hand and finger placement.
Buy a Kit
If you want to avoid the chances of injury even further, invest in a pumpkin carving kit. These kits can be found at most stores for a reasonable price, and they include everything you need to carve a pumpkin safely. Most importantly, the packages include small knives meant to use for pumpkin carving. These knives are designed not to be sharp enough to inflict serious injury, but they should still only be used by adults. Your children will love the books full of fun carving designs included in the book, and you’ll like knowing no one will need a trip to the emergency room!