Advertisement

Pumpkin Carving Safety Tips


By Kathy Sena

 

When my son, Matt, was younger, my husband and I seemed to have the same conversation every year: “How much of the pumpkin carving can Matt safely do?” A child’s manual dexterity improves with each passing Halloween—but that doesn’t always seem to come with an increase in common sense, as any ER doc will confirm. What are the best ways to include younger children in the pumpkin-carving festivities while keeping everyone safe? 

I checked with the folks who know a lot about these matters: The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at New York State University, and the American Society of Hand Therapists. These folks have seen it all, and they have some great tips to help keep your little ones safe around the pumpkin-carving table. They might just keep Mom and Dad from needing a stitch or two, as well.

Carve your pumpkin in a clean, dry, well-lit area.

Wash and thoroughly dry all of the tools that you will use to carve the pumpkin: carving tools, knife, cutting surface and your hands. Any moisture on your tools, hands or table can cause slipping that can lead to injuries.

Very young children should never carve pumpkins—but they can still help.

Leave the sharp stuff to older children or parents. Little ones can draw on pumpkins with markers. Some families carve a big pumpkin and have younger children create their own designs on mini pumpkins. Children can also help clean out the “goop” and seeds from inside the pumpkin. Messy fun!

Always have adult supervision during carving—even with teens.

Doctors often report seeing adolescent patients with injuries from pumpkin carving. Adults feel that the children are responsible enough to be left on their own, but accidents happen (and teen judgment isn’t always that of adults—no Halloween surprise there). Remember, it only takes a second for an injury to occur.

Teach knife safety to older children.

Teach the following safety rules: Always point knives away from you. Keep your free hand away from the direction of the knife. Use slicing motions and never force the knife.

Consider buying pumpkin tools instead of using a knife.

Special pumpkin-carving kits are available in stores and include small, serrated pumpkin saws that work better because they are less likely to get stuck in the thick pumpkin tissue. According to a study by the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at New York Upstate Medical University, people who used pumpkin-carving tools specifically designed for this purpose had fewer, less-severe injuries compared with people who carved pumpkins using knives.

Light your pumpkin safely.

Small, votive candles (as opposed to tall, skinny candles) are safest for candlelit pumpkins. Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended. Even better: use battery-operated candles.


Be the first to review this item!


Bookmark this

09 Aug 2016


Recent Articles more articles

Slowing Down: Reclaiming Sanity

in Health and Wellness, Family Life, Cheryl Brodnax

So, I have a problem with over-commitment. It seems that any time there is white space on my calendar, I find some excuse to fill it. My husband often points out that I never just sit. What? Who doesn’t sit?

E-Cigarettes and Vaping: A Dangerous Epidemic

in Sponsored Content

Vaping is a dangerous new epidemic that has been sweeping the country, especially in teens and young adults, and now, the Center for Disease Control is investigating if vaping is the cause of over 200 cases of severe lung disease as well as two death

Breastfeeding Journey. Is This It?

in Amelia Laprairie

When Andie was born, I set a breastfeeding goal of one year. I was determined to make it to that and we overcame many obstacles and pushed through to be sure that this journey continued.

How Do I Respond to Comments from Kids About My Body?

in Mari Walker

As I established in Suit Up, Mama, I’m living my life in a fat body. It’s not good or bad, it just is. I certainly wish my body were smaller sometimes, and I do exercise and try to be healthy. But I also accept it for what it is: my body that allows

Featured Listings more listings

Celebration Station

Celebration Station

in Party Venues

Celebration Station parties are a great time for everyone. With each party, you and your child's birthday party guests can feast on pizza, play arcade games, score some tickets, win prizes, ride the go-karts and bumper cards, ride and play for hours

Greater Baton Rouge Hope Academy

in Private Schools

Hope Academy utilizes proven research-based techniques that are tempered with care and customized to meet the unique requirements of the individual student.

Catholic High School

in Private Schools

Catholic High's holistic approach to education builds a community spirit that is characterized by Christian values, an orderly and disciplined atmosphere, a personal approach to education and a commitment to academic excellence.

Petite Princess Company

Petite Princess Company

in Party Entertainment

We have more than 20 different princesses to choose from. Our princess parties include a storytime, singalong, coronation, and princess lessons. Mermaid parties include swimming, bubbles, scale tattoos, fun with shells, and pool games. Unicorn partie

Advertisement
Newsletter