Carve with care

A well turned-out jack-o'-lantern can light up a doorway or windowsill and beckon to roving trick-or-treaters. But pumpkin carving is not child's play. To get that sinister grin requires a good, sharp knife and a steady hand.

  • Keep children out of the way of the cutting tasks. Adults only! Have your child draw the face they'd like onto a sheet of paper for you to carve.
  • Carve pumpkins on a stable, flat surface, with good lighting.
  • Once you have the top of your pumpkin opened up, invite kids over to scoop out the goopy pumpkin guts with their hands. It's a fun, sticky job that kids love.
  • Save the seeds for roasting. They're full of iron and protein and make a healthy pre-trick-or-treat snack.
  • Snuff out candles. Foot traffic around a porch pumpkin can be a fire hazard. Glow-sticks or a battery-powered LED light or electric candle may not have the traditional flicker of a candle, but they're safer. If you do choose to light your pumpkin with a candle, keep it away from curtains and other flammable objects, and never leave a candle unattended.
  • Keep your pets away from any of your Halloween decorations and trick-or-treaters, as pets can become over-excited, and possibly knock something over or hurt someone they do not recognize coming to their door.
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