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Fox Valley Orthopedics Encourages Cautious Carving Care this Halloween

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Fox Valley Orthopedics Encourages Cautious Carving Care this Halloween

Hand Surgeons Offer Tips on Pumpkin-Carving Safety

GENEVA, ILLINOIS — As ghosts and goblins prepare to make their way around the tri-city communities, families will be busy lighting the way with carrot-colored jack-o-lanterns. To make sure your Halloween pumpkin carving doesn’t end in a serious hand injury, Fox Valley Orthopedic offers some sage advice to parents.

A study by the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse about which pumpkin-carving tools are safest found that tools designed specifically for pumpkin carving may be safer.

“Research shows that pumpkin knives require less force than kitchen knives to carve pumpkins…and it takes less force to slice a human hand than it does to carve a pumpkin,” says Dr. Thomas Atkins, a hand surgeon at Fox Valley Orthopedics.

In addition to using the proper tools, the method and carving environment are vital to safety, too.

Check out Dr. Atkins and Dr. Torosian tips:

Savvy Supervision – Teens may seem responsible, but they still sometimes need adult supervision…especially when knives are involved. It only takes a momentary slip for a serious injury to occur. Make sure that an adult is around for the pumpkin-carving festivities.

Kids Can’t Karve – Let your children clean out the pumpkin seeds and pulp, and design the pumpkin “face.” The carving itself is simply too dangerous, and ought to be left to the adults. Always cut away from your body, using controlled, small strokes.

Get Professional Help – Purchase a special pumpkin-carving kit from the store. Kits include small, serrated pumpkin saws that work better than regular knives because they’re not as likely to get stuck in the pumpkin’s flesh.

Avoid Slippery Slopes – Pumpkin carving can be a slippery business. Moisture on your hands, tools, or table can lead to injuries. Make sure to do all your pumpkin carving in a clean, dry, well-lit area. Before you begin, wash and thoroughly dry your carving tools, knife, cutting surface, and hands.

911 Jumpstart – If someone does manage to cut a finger or hand while pumpkin carving, monitor the bleeding. Sometimes bleeding from minor cuts will stop on its own if pressure is directly applied to the wound with a clean cloth. However, if after fifteen minutes of continuous pressure the bleeding does not slow or stop, an emergency room visit may be necessary.