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The specialty-trained doctors at The Hand & Upper Extremity Center of Georgia have created safety guidelines to follow when carving pumpkins. These guidelines will help people avoid injuries while carving pumpkins. Patients in need of hand care are encouraged to call (404) 255-0226 to schedule an appointment or visit one of their office locations in Atlanta, located at 980 Johnson Ferry Road NE, Suite 1020, and at 1110 West Peachtree St. NW, Suite 1050, in Alpharetta, located at 3400A Old Milton Parkway, Suite 350, or in Cumming, located at 2000 Howard Farm Drive, Suite 310.

“Every year, we see multiple hand and finger injuries from pumpkin carving,” says Dr. Bryce Gillespie, fellowship-trained surgeon at The Hand & Upper Extremity Center of Georgia. “To help keep our community safe, we created a list of helpful rules and safety tips to follow so that Halloween stays fun, safe and, hopefully, injury-free.”

Follow these safety tips to help avoid carving injuries:

  • Carving area: Make sure your carving space is clean, well-lit and level. Your area, pumpkin and tools should all be kept dry to avoid any accidental slipping.
  • Use the right tools: Avoid using kitchen knives or any other sharp knife. Instead, use a pumpkin carving kit that has tools specifically designed to carve pumpkins safely.
  • Proper technique: When carving a pumpkin, make sure to keep the top on and use your free hand to keep the pumpkin stabilized. Always carve away from your body and take your time.
  • Adult supervision: Carving should be left to the adults. Children can draw the outline and clean the pumpkin, but as soon as the carving starts, anyone who is not the carver should be at least an arm’s length away.
  • Explore alternatives: Avoid carving altogether by decorating pumpkins with paint, crayons, yarn or felt.

“If you do sustain an injury while pumpkin carving,” says Dr. Gillespie, “make sure you clean the wound with soap and water and apply pressure. If you feel any numbness, intense pain or have any loss of movement in a finger, seek medical attention.”

To learn more about pumpkin carving injuries or to schedule an appointment at The Hand & Upper Extremity Center of Georgia, please call (404) 255-0226.