Dr. Steven Heithoff and Dr. Mark Petrocelli Offer Safety Tips for Pumpkin Carving

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Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron’s specialty-trained hand surgeons, Steven J. Heithoff, D.O., F.A.O.A.O., and Mark A. Petrocelli, D.O., offer safety guidelines to follow this year when carving pumpkins. Patients in need of specialized hand care are encouraged to call (810) 985-4900 to be seen by one of the hand doctors at the practice’s office in Port Huron at 940 River Centre Drive.

“Each year, pumpkin carving causes multiple minor and serious hand and finger injuries,” says Dr. Heithoff. “We want our community to have a safe, fun and injury-free Halloween, and to help with this, we created a list of safety tips to follow when carving pumpkins.”

Follow these safety tips to help prevent carving-related hand injuries:

  • Use proper carving tools: Leave the sharp knives in the kitchen. There are pumpkin carving tool kits available that have tools specifically designed to safely carve pumpkins.
  • Prepare the pumpkin carving area: Before you start carving, ensure that your pumpkin and your carving area are clean, dry and level. Also, check for adequate lighting.
  • Use proper technique: When carving, start at the top of the pumpkin and work your way down. Take your time and make sure you are carving away from your body and using small strokes. 
  • Leave the carving to the adults: Kids can draw the outlines and clean the inside of the pumpkins out, but when it’s time to start carving, an adult should handle the task.
  • Keep a safe carving zone: In addition to keeping your area clean, make sure that anyone who is not the carver is at least an arm’s length away.
  • Try alternative decorating options: Instead of carving your pumpkin, use markers, paint, and fabrics to decorate your pumpkin.
  • In the event of an injury: Make sure you clean the wound with soap and water and apply pressure. If you feel any numbness, intense pain or have any loss of movement in a finger, seek medical attention.

Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron’s hand surgeons are fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons who specialize in treating injuries and conditions of the hand and upper extremity. Dr. Heithoff joined the practice in 1988, and Dr. Petrocelli joined in 2019. They both see patients at the practice’s Port Huron location.

To learn more about pumpkin carving injuries or to schedule an appointment with one of the hand doctors at Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron, please call (810) 985-4900 or request an appointment online.