Before you carve that pumpkin, read this
If you haven't already, now is the time to carve your Great Pumpkin (or my favorite, extreme pumpkins). I love the whole process, from scraping out the mushy guts to carving the perfect face and making it glow with a candle. But carving pumpkins isn't child's play, as I recently discovered with my 3-year-old daughter.
The knives and the uneven slippery surface can spell disaster, if you're not careful. I found myself telling her to "back up'' and "watch out'' with every cut.
Dr. George Kardashian, a hand specialist at the Center for Bone and Joint Disease in Hudson, says carving a pumpkin can cause serious injury if you accidentally cut your hand or wrist. Hit a tendon, nerve or blood vessel, and you may be headed to the hospital. Talk about scary.
To avoid such an accident, he offers the following tips.
- Use tools specifically made for pumpkin carving, which are available at most stores that sell Halloween supplies or costumes.
- Make sure the knife and your hands are dry so you don't slip during the carving.
- Do not use an oversized knife or razor blade.
- Have kids clean out the innards and leave the carving to adults.
- Let kids paint or draw their own design on the outside.
I took his advice and bought two pumpkins this year, one that I carved and another that my daughter painted and decorated with black felt. It looks great and, as a bonus, will last a lot longer outdoors in the heat.
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