You've procured your candy (hopefully you haven't eaten most of the Milky Way bars) and pumpkins and sewn your kids' costumes from scratch (or not). All you have to do now is carve those enormous gourds into ghoulish jack-o-lanterns and you'll be ready for superbly ghastly Halloween.
You and the kids can have a great and goopy time doing so, but remember to take safety precautions where pumpkin carving is concerned. Many people seriously injure themselves while carving pumpkins, cutting hands or wrists. Here are some tips to help you keep your blood inside your body on Halloween -- after all, vampires prefer it that way.
Take care before and during cutting. Don't use an oversized knife or a razor blade to carve. Use appropriate tools -- small knives that resemble small saws are specifically made for pumpkin carving and can be purchased at stores selling Halloween supplies.
Supervise and assist children -- use your judgment when it comes to allowing any child to use knives. Younger ones might enjoy sketching toothless smiles on the outside of the pumpkin, or scooping out in innards after it's been cut.
Make sure your work area is safe and that your knife handle and hands are dry and will not slip due to moisture.
And remember, once your masterpiece has been carved to perfection, make sure you're around to supervise it while it's lit, and that small children and animals cannot reach or disturb your glowing gourd.
For more tips on Halloween safety, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website .
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