Baton Rouge Physical Therapy in The Advocate for Pumpkin Carving Safety Tips

Take care when carving pumpkins and consider safer decor methods, hand therapists say

Families are filling pumpkin patches to pick out that perfect gourd to turn into a jack-o’-lantern, but hand therapists say that Halloween fun can turn grisly if pumpkin carving turns into a nightmare on your street, a news release said.

According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, there were more than 2,700 Halloween-related injuries in 2019 and more than 40% of the injuries were related to pumpkin carving.

Hand therapists at Baton Rouge Physical Therapy Lake shared safe tips and alternatives to trick out a jack-o’-lantern this Halloween season.

Keep Your Hands Safe During Spooky Season

Schedule an appointment with a licensed physical therapist to help with chronic hand pain.

Close-up of physiotherapist giving hand massage to patient in clinic

Six tips to keep pumpkin carving fun, not frightful:

Carve pumpkins in a well-lit and dry area: Carving pumpkins outside keeps the mess out of the house, but make sure you set up your carving station in a well-lit area so you can see what you are doing. Also make sure the area, the pumpkin, your hands and carving tools are dry so there are no unintended slip-ups that could leave you carving more than your pumpkin. The innards of a pumpkin are wet and slimy, so keep drying towels at hand to keep everything clean and dry.

Use a pumpkin carving kit: Leave the big chef knives for the horror movies and use the pumpkin carving kits that are sold in most grocery or convenience stores. The small tools are specially designed for pumpkin carving safety and the serrated pumpkin saws can cut your pumpkin without getting stuck deep in the pumpkin’s skin — or your skin. Large chef knives can cut deep and require force to pull out, and that is when many accidents happen.

Carve away from you: Use the same common sense you would when using any knife, cut and carve away from you, not toward you. It also cuts down on the chance for accidents if you use small strokes, almost like an edging. Don’t try to cut all the way through the pumpkin in one stroke.

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