Pumpkin Carving 10-31-11

Every year pumpkin carving lands families in the emergency room. Consumer Reports has tips to help you avoid a Halloween horror.

Published On: Nov 07 2011 01:37:58 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 07 2011 06:26:18 PM CST
Pumpkin Carving

Carving pumpkins is a Halloween tradition for many families and a thrill to many kids. But carving pumpkins can be perilous. According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, Halloween is among the top holidays producing the most E-R visits for kids, partly due to finger and hand injuries. "Every year I would see typically two to three patients in that adolescent age range that sustained a pumpkin carving injury." Hand surgeons like Doctor Stuart Elkowitz have to repair the damage every Halloween. Stuart Elkowitz, "The most common injury I have seen with the pumpkin carving injuries are lacerations to the flexor tendons, which are the tendons that bend your finger."

Consumer Reports Medical Adviser Doctor Orly Avitzur has some tips on avoiding a Halloween accident. "Pumpkins are slippery and knives are sharp and that's just a bad combination. Instead, pick up one of these pumpkin-carving kits, which are available just about everywhere these days." The tools are smaller than a kitchen knife and easier to control. They can also saw through the rind without being razor sharp. Orly Avitzur "When you're carving, stabilize the pumpkin by holding the top and pointing the blade down as you saw. And be careful not to put your hand inside the pumpkin when you're cutting." Advice that hopefully will treat you and your family to a happy Halloween. Ted Tenthoff, "There's the nose. Nonni drew it. Nice job honey."