Pumpkin Carving Safety Tips for Halloween - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Oct 18, 2019

Pumpkin Carving Safety Tips for Halloween

What would Halloween be without a carved jack-o’-lantern proudly sitting out on your front step? Whether you have kids who are eager to create silly pumpkin monsters or are working on some spooky decorations for your Halloween party, when you’re carving and using knives it’s important to keep safety in mind.

Pick a Pumpkin that is Safe for Carving

It all starts in the pumpkin patch! Here are some things to consider when picking out the perfect pumpkin:
  • Look for a pumpkin with a smooth surface. This will be easier for small hands to draw on and easier to carve into. 
  • Pick a pumpkin with a good “face.” If possible, pick a pumpkin with at least one flat surface that can be used for the face. 
  • Lighter is better! Avoid pumpkins that are heavier than they appear. This can indicate a thicker rind which is more difficult to carve. 

Preparing to Carve 

  • Use the right tools. Don’t use a chef knife as a pumpkin carving tool. Using kitchen knives to carve your pumpkin creates an unnecessary risk. Instead, splurge the extra $5 on a pumpkin carving kit. These tools are designed specifically for the task and are much smaller, making them easier to control. These kits can be found in most department stores during the Halloween season. 
  • Watch the direction you’re cutting. Always carve away from yourself. 
  • Work in a brightly lit space. This will help you keep a close eye on everything you’re working on. Make sure your workspace is also clean and free of clutter. 
  • Be smart with your design. Don’t worry about making your jack-o’-lantern the next great work of art. Pick a design that is doable for your skill set.

Take Precautions When Carving

  • Take your time! In most situations, accidents can be avoided by simply slowing down and taking your time. 
  • Keep the carving among adults. Carving should be reserved for adults and kids over the age of 14. Get your smaller children involved by letting them scoop out the pulp and seeds with a spoon and letting them use a marker to draw the design on. 
  • Carve with the top of the pumpkin on. This will keep you from putting your hand inside the pumpkin and accidentally cutting yourself!

Carving Alternatives

If you feel like changing things up this year, there are plenty of DIY alternatives. Here are some of our favorites:
  • Paint. Use a paintbrush and some leftover paint for a project that is kid-friendly and doesn’t involve scooping out pumpkin guts! This alternative is especially great if you have a child asking for a Halloween party. 
  • Put your cookie cutters to work. Place the sharp edge of a cookie cutter against the skin of the pumpkin and lightly hammer on it until it is firmly pressed into the pumpkin’s rind. Remove the cookie cutter. 

In the Case of an Accident

If there is an accident during your pumpkin-carving session, immediately rinse the wound out and apply pressure. If the bleeding does not stop within 15 minutes, go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care clinic.