As Halloween approaches, doctors at Dignity Health Urgent Care centers are cautioning the public about important jack-o-lantern safety.
“Hospitals and urgent cares all over the nation are haunted by Halloween related injuries this time of year,” says Dignity Health Urgent Care physician, Aurbinderdeep Sidhu, MD.
In addition to its major hospitals, Dignity Health also operates urgent care centers in Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Maricopa and Queen Creek.
“Every year, we see a number of patients with carving wounds in our Urgent Care centers. Usually they are not serious, but they can be…” adds Dr. Sidhu. “It is important when carving gourds to wield tools with care. We don’t want anyone to experience a gory Halloween,”
Here are four major safe jack-o-lantern carving tips to remember.
Don’t carve towards yourself. Protect your body by cutting the other way in small, controlled strokes.
Think smarter, not shaper. A sharp knife can become lodged in the thicker parts of the pumpkin and cause serious injury if your hand is in the wrong place when it dislodges. Local stores sell special carving kits that include small serrated saws which are less likely to get stuck in the pumpkin. These specialized tools are also not sharp enough to cause a deep injury.
Location, location, location. Set up your carving station in a clean, dry and well-lit area. Wash and thoroughly dry the cutting area, your hands and all tools that you will use to carve your pumpkin before getting started. Any moisture can cause the pumpkin, your hands, or the tools to slip which can lead to injuries.
Little hands and sharp tools do not mix. Children can draw the design on the pumpkin and clean out the inside, but an adult should do the actual carving.
Remember, it only takes a second for an injury to occur, so be prepared and supervise closely. Do not leave children or adolescents alone with carving tools.
- Dignity Health Arizona -