Avoid pumpkin carving injuries with these expert tips

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Experts issue safety guidance in anticipation of traumatic injuries and emergency department visits

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Just weeks away from Halloween, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons issued safety guidance Wednesday aimed at reducing trauma injuries and visits to emergency departments related to pumpkin carving and other holiday-related festivities.

Dr. Craig Phillips, orthopedic hand surgeon and spokesperson for AAOS, said, “It is important for parents to establish clear boundaries with their children and teach them safety tips to ensure they have a positive experience. , not to visit the hospital.” Statement. “Using proper pumpkin cutters and cutting away from the body is the only way to avoid musculoskeletal injuries.”

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Experts also recommend using a pumpkin carving kit or knife made specifically for carving to reduce the risk of getting stuck in the skin of the pumpkin. Other tips include carving the pumpkin in a clean, dry area with ample lighting that doesn’t have tools or moisture on hands.

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If there is an injury, such as a cut, experts recommend applying pressure with a clean cloth, elevating the injured area above the heart, cleaning the cut, and covering it with a bandage. Experts say that if the cut is deep and bleeding continues after 10-15 minutes, consider seeking medical attention.

Also opt for non-flammable lights instead of candles inside pumpkins and other decorations, the group says.

Pumpkin carving was involved in nearly half of Halloween-related injuries in 2018, although nearly 2,700 injuries involved trips and falls, the AAOS noted, citing data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, with 27% of injuries. , which includes wounds and ingestion, among others.

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