HSHS offers pumpkin carving safety tips

HSHS offers pumpkin carving safety tips

Fall has arrived, the leaves are changing and pumpkin patches are open for families to select the perfect pumpkin or gourd for carving. Each year emergency rooms across the United States see patients with injuries to the hands and fingers from carving pumpkins – sometimes requiring surgical treatment.

HSHS St. Francis Hospital offers several tips to keep families safe during Halloween and autumn celebrations:


Supervision is required. Adults should always be present during pumpkin carving activities. Involve children by letting them draw the pattern to carve, but leave the cutting to the adults.

Setup the operation. Just like operating rooms, prepare by setting up the carving operaton with good light and a clean, dry space to carve the pumpkin.

Skip the scalpel. Avoid using very sharp knives that can become anchored into the pumpkin or go through the other side potentially causing injury. Consider purchasing tools specially designed for pumpkin carving to reduce your risk of injury.

Take time. Surgeons don’t rush through procedures, and amateur pumpkin carvers at home shouldn’t either! Plan and be patient while creating your Halloween décor.

Don’t get burned. The carving is finishing, and scrapes and cuts were avoided, but don’t risk a burn injury. Use battery-operated lights or glow sticks to light up the creation.

Those that do sustain a pumpkin carving injury, please seek help – call 911 or seek medical help immediately.