Avoiding Hand Injuries When Carving Turkeys or Pumpkins

There are many things to celebrate during Halloween. It is important to avoid any hand injuries that could ruin the festivities. Safely using a knife and cutting utensils while pumpkin or Turkey carving on Halloween and Thanksgiving will help prevent hand injuries. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that 40% of all Halloween injuries in 2019 were caused by pumpkin carving. Similar carving injuries can be seen during Thanksgiving.

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Tips

Let’s start with Halloween. Both children and adults can get hurt carving pumpkins. Many people simply grab any knife and get to carving without thinking of safety precautions. It is vital to safely use a carving knife.

  1. To avoid hand slipping, keep your hands and knives clean.
  2. Pumpkin carving tools are easier to use if they have serrated edges. Sharp knives are not always better, as they can get stuck in the thicker pumpkin after it is carved.
  3. Make sure to use a dry cutting surface so that pumpkins won’t slip while carving.
  4. Good lighting is important to see what you are doing.
  5. To avoid injury, cut away from the body.
  6. Children should always be supervised by an adult.

Thanksgiving Turkey/Meat Carving Tips

These Tips apply to both pumpkin & turkey carving.

  1. To avoid slipping, keep your hands and knives clean.
  2. Sharpen your cutting utensils. A dull knife can cause you to apply more pressure, which could lead to serious injuries.
  3. Dry cutting surfaces are best to prevent your turkey from slipping.
  4. Good lighting is important to see what you are doing.
  5. To avoid injury, cut away from the body. Place your free hand opposite the side that you are carving towards. To catch the meat slice, your hand should never be under the blade.

Assess the injury immediately if you are hurt. You can take care of minor cuts at home. Avery Arora MD, Surgery of the Hand Wrist & Elbow says that minor cuts can be treated at home by applying pressure after cleaning the area thoroughly. Within a matter of minutes, the bleeding should stop. Apply a first aid cream and then cover the wound.

These are the situations where you might need to visit a doctor or hand specialist by visiting an emergency room.

  • Apply pressure for 15 minutes, but if the bleeding does not stop or slow down at all, you should go to the emergency room.
  • Contact a doctor if you feel that your fingers or hands tingle or become numb without any reason.
  • To avoid infection, you should visit the emergency room if you are unable to clean and disinfect the wound.
  • To avoid painful tetanus illness, it is important to check with your doctor if you are unsure if you have had a Tetanus shot.

Although it is not possible to eliminate all risks associated with carving or other injuries on Halloween and Thanksgiving, these safety tips can help you enjoy safe and happy holidays. Here at Pro+Kinetix PT we specialize in many forms of therapy including hand injuries and follow-up care. Visit us at Pro+Kinetix Physical Therapy & Performance for an assessment/evaluation.

AUTHOR

Dr. Ben Bagge

Pro+Kinetix Physical Therapy & Performance

"We Help Active Adults & Athletes Get Back To Workouts and Sports They Enjoy without surgery, stopping activities they love, or relying on pain medicine."
Archives

Get Your Free Tips Report: Back Pain

7 Quick Easy Ways to End Back Pain
How Long Have You Suffered or Worried?
Please Select A Location:
Marketing by
Privacy Policy: We guarantee 100% privacy. Your information will NOT be shared.

Get Your Free Tips Report: Running Pain

Pain Free Running Guide
How Long Have You Suffered or Worried?*
Please Select A Location:*
Marketing by
Privacy Policy: We guarantee 100% privacy. Your information will NOT be shared.