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Halloween Safety Tips

  • Published: 2010-10-14 (Revised/Updated 2016-10-25) : American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (orthoinfo.org).
  • Synopsis: Halloween safety tips that are no trick - orthopaedic surgeons offer Halloween injury prevention tips.

Main Document

Quote: "It's so important to realize that there is a wrong way to carve a pumpkin! You should always use a carving knife, carve away from the body and never rush. It's possible to cut tendons, particularly when your finger slides down the knife and the knife gets stuck in the pumpkin, said Elizabeth A. Ouellette, MD."

Every Halloween, kids across the country parade neighborhoods in search of the most glorious prize: candy. The build-up for Halloween is almost as exciting as the day itself with pre-Halloween festivities like pumpkin-picking, pumpkin carving and selecting the perfect costume for the big day. And though the holiday calls for fun, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) stresses the importance of taking proper precautions to avoid injuries this Halloween.

Statistics:

A nine-year study examined holiday-related pediatric emergency room visits between 1997 and 2006. Results of this study show Halloween among the top three holidays producing the most ER visits:

Source: D'Ippolito A, Collins CL, Comstock RD. Epidemiology of pediatric holiday-related injuries presenting to US emergency departments. Pediatrics. 2010 May; 125(5):931-7.

Safety Tips:

Advice:

"It's so important to realize that there is a wrong way to carve a pumpkin! You should always use a carving knife, carve away from the body and never rush. It's possible to cut tendons, particularly when your finger slides down the knife and the knife gets stuck in the pumpkin," said Elizabeth A. Ouellette, MD. "For this reason, children and adults should not carve pumpkins with kitchen knives. Besides the potential dangers from pumpkin carving, parents and kids need to be aware of their surroundings, and instinctively participate in activities safely, no matter the holiday."

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