Pumpkin Carving Safety & Contest

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Halloween is just around the corner, and we want everyone to safely carve those pumpkins. Last week we wrote about alternatives to carving, this week we've got safety tips from a pro. Expert hand surgeon, George Kardashian, M.D. of The Center for Bone and Joint Disease provides emergency tips on how to handle this scary situation and how to best prevent it from happening.

Tools to use: '??Jack-o'??-lanterns are part of Halloween fun, but remember to take precautions before and during cutting.'? Says Kardashian. '??Use appropriate tools such as knives that resemble small saws and are specifically made for pumpkin carving.'? Check out the Pumpkin Power Saw Carving Tool ($11.85). Do not use an oversized knife or a razor blade. Martha Stewart recommends a saw--go here for her tips.

Momtrends tips:

  • Place the pumpkin up high when carving. 
  • Use professional tools (no dull knives).
  • Carve on a sturdy table.
  • Remember wine and sharp object don't mix. 
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When it comes to kids wanting to be a part of pumpkin carving: '??Kids can still be safely involved in this fun activity. Supervise and assist children,'? explains Kardashian. '??Allow kids to have fun with the creative designs and draw on the outside of the pumpkin. They can also have fun scooping out the insides of the pumpkin! It'??s best to leave the carving to the adults.'?

Make sure your work area is safe and that your knife handle and hands are dry and will not slip due to moisture. After all that, it'??s your turn to do the cutting!

If an accident does occur and you find yourself in an emergency situation, Kardashian advises the following:

* Remove any foreign objects '?? specifically, pieces of a blade or the knife itself.
* Elevate and apply pressure constantly until you receive professional care.
* Immediately go to a medical care facility or contact 911.

Have fun while creating your masterpiece '??Jack-o'-lantern'?? this Halloween, and remember with safety precautions, this fun Halloween tradition can avoid becoming scary. And if you've got a winner--why not snap a picture of your creation and send it to www.youroldhouse.thisoldhouse.com/pumpkincarving/ to try to win $500.


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