Monday, October 30, 2006
Carve the Pumpkin and Not Your Hands
Most of the hand injuries that I see are work related especially with the computer addicts, but Halloween is always an exception. Here are some tips from the American Society for Surgery of the Hand to minimize pumpkin- carving injuries courtesy of the Orthocarolina hand physicians.
1. Use common sense. Wash and dry pumpkin and utensils before starting. Carve in a well-lit area.
2. Bigger is not better. Do not use large, sharp knives, as they often stick in thicker parts of the pumpkin and require force to dislodge, often seriously cutting carvers' hands when they do so.
3. Invest in a carving kit. Pumpkin carving saws require less force, making them less likely to do harm. Cut away from yourself in small, controlled strokes.
4. Leave the carving to adults. Let kids sketch the pumpkin's design and clean the pulp and seeds. Keep children at a safe distance while the carver works.
If you do cut yourself while carving, apply direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth, after gently washing the wound with soap and water. If pressure does not stop the bleeding after 15 minutes, or if you experience a change in sensation or color or lose function of your finger or hand, seek immediate medical attention at the orthopedic urgent care or emergency department.
Photo courtesy of encarta.