You Don't Always Carve The Pumpkin; Sometimes It Carves You
In 2017 alone, more than 3,000 people in the U.S. visited emergency rooms after injuring themselves while carving pumpkins. That means pumpkin carving rivals amusement park rides when it comes to injuring people, even though everybody knows the Tilt-A-Whirl is a roto-mauling machine (and it smells like corn dog puke). So friends, if you've got a knife in your hand right now, put it down and move away from the pumpkin.
A spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons advises that parents should "Consider having children decorate pre-carved pumpkins with stickers and paint to avoid using sharp objects. This will allow children to join in the fun while eliminating the use of sharp objects and their risk of injury." Most parents, who grew up carving just fine and lost no limbs as far as they can remember, think that's just stupid. God, what's next? Lowering the safety bar on the Tilt-A-Whirl?
But you don't want to end up like, say, Brad Gruner. The quarterback from New Mexico was carving a pumpkin when he sliced the pinkie on his throwing hand so hard that it required season-ending surgery. Come to think of it, maybe it's not so surprising that inexperienced people wielding boning knives end up chopping themselves open. But sometimes it gets weirder. Take what happened to the Garcia family. Mom Melanie's boyfriend had the honor of lowering a lighter into the hollowed-out pumpkin they were about to carve. But the fumes had trouble escaping, or maybe the lighter was leaking, and their pumpkin exploded in a ball of flame, sending four-year-old Chloe to the hospital for 12 operations.