Halloween Pumpkin Carving Safety Tips

Halloween is a fun time of costumes, candy, and carving of pumpkins. Unfortunately, one little slip and that fun could be over and you might be rushing to the emergency room.

Accidental lacerations and puncture wounds to the hands and fingers are common injuries seen in emergency rooms around the country during this time of year due to Halloween pumpkin carving. Some of these injuries require surgery and months of rehabilitation, such as the injury Brad Gruner, starting quarterback for the University of New Mexico, suffered last Halloween when he sliced a tendon in the pinkie of his throwing hand and was out for the rest of the season.

If you’ve ever carved a pumpkin before, you know from experience how slippery and tough they can be. It is all too easy for a knife to slip or for it to go through the skin and out the other side where your other hand might be holding it steady. Do yourself (and your family) a favor and follow a couple of safety tips this year to prevent an accident.

Leave the carving to the adults. Kids under the age of 14 should not do the actual carving or cutting. They can draw on the pumpkin the design they want it to have but let an adult carve it.

Use special pumpkin carving tools instead of kitchen knives. Pumpkin carving kits are easy to find in most stores in the weeks before Halloween. These tools are usually smaller, less sharp, and easier to control than a kitchen knife and less likely to cause a laceration or puncture wound. Make sure to use a well-lit, stable, dry surface to work on. Keep hands and tools clean and dry to minimize slips. While carving, leave the top on so you don’t stick your hand inside the pumpkin and risk cutting it.

Decorate your pumpkins without carving them. There are many ways to decorate a pumpkin that do not require risking an injury. Kids can use markers, paint, and even glue on embellishments to create a fun or scary pumpkin design.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!


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If you’ve ever carved a pumpkin before, you know from experience how slippery and tough they can be

About the Author

Tamara Walker, R.N., aka “MomRN”, is the mom of two teenagers, a registered nurse, a child safety expert and instructor, and host of the “Ask MomRN Show”. Her passions are to help parents as they navigate the journey through parenthood and to protect children of all ages. Her websites are http://www.MomRN.com and http://www.blogtalkradio.com/FlyLady. MomRN has been a member of the PedSafe Expert team


6 Responses to “Halloween Pumpkin Carving Safety Tips”

  1. The wearing of safety gloves and full sleeve clothing will greatly reduce the risk of being cut or punctured while using knives and tools during pumpkin carving activities. Gardening gloves and an old sweater will usually fit the bill. It is advisable to be aware of the direction of pressure being applied to instruments and be vigilant not to cut or draw said tools towards the general direction of an opposing limb or portion of the body.

  2. Ron says:

    Hi Tamara!

    Great tips. If you have a 2015 version of this, it would be great. I can make it as a great resource for my future or upcoming blog post.


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