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Safety Tips For Carving A Jack-O’-Lantern

It’s that wonderful time of year when it’s all about pumpkins: pumpkin-flavored foods and drinks, pumpkin decorations and, of course, pumpkin carving.

Before you pull out the big knives to carve your award-winning jack-o'-lantern, you’ll want to read these pumpkin carving safety tips from Tracey Fejt, a registered nurse with Banner Health trauma outreach and injury prevention coordinator at Banner Children’s at Desert in Mesa, AZ.

Don’t let children do the carving: Let the kids be involved with drawing the pattern on the pumpkin and scooping out the seeds, but leave the pumpkin carving and cutting to the adults. A safe time to pass the carving knife is when your child is a teenager.

Keep the lid on: It may seem like a no-brainer, but if you cut off the top stem before you carve your scary—or funny—jack-o’-lantern, you may stick your hand inside the pumpkin while you are carving and end up with a nasty gash. Save the top cut and seed removal for the end.

Consider a kit: Carving kits are designed to be safer than using a kitchen knife. The tools in these kits aren’t razor sharp but are still able to create that perfect jack-o’-lantern; and because they are smaller, they are great for detailed and intricate cuts.

Avoid a fire hazard: Halloween is a time for creativity, so why not get innovative when it comes to your jack-o’-lantern illumination? Instead of a candle, consider using a battery-powered votive “candle,” a flashlight or even a colorful glow stick. If you do use a pumpkin candle, be sure to keep your jack-o’-lantern away from any materials or objects that could catch fire. And when you’re giving your children Halloween safety tips, remind them not to touch the jack-o’-lanterns to avoid being burned by the candle.

Despite even the most careful of intentions, you may still end up with you or someone in your household being accidentally cut. If this happens, apply pressure to the wound with a towel or paper towel for at least 15 minutes. If the bleeding continues, go to your nearest urgent care or emergency room. Halloween is also a great time to remind your kids about fire safety and the important “stop, drop and roll.”

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Click here to download pumpkin cutouts to use for your jack-o'-lanterns.

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