Linda’s Pumpkin Carving Protocol

If you had a chance to go to some of the pumpkin patches I featured in my Encinitas weekend blog you probably have a family pumpkin carving night planned for later this week. When children participate in this Halloween tradition it’s very important to incorporate some basic safety guidelines to make the event an injury free experience. When it comes to carving pumpkins children should always be supervised. By following some of these preparation and carving tips you can ensure the only blood seen in your Encinitas home this Halloween is of the fake variety!

Preparation for Carving

  • As a general rule the lighter the color of the pumpkin the easier it is to carve so reserve these for the youngest members of the family.

  • Create a well lit area for carving and cover the surface with newspapers to catch the pumpkin innards. The pumpkin pulp is very slippery and should be kept off floors to prevent falls.

  • Keep sharp tools away off the floor and out of reach of the hands of youngsters.

  • Ensure that the pumpkin surface and all tools you will be using are clean and dry.

  • Give very small children the job of painting or tracing the pattern on the pumpkin to make them feel included. They should never be doing the actual carving.

Pumpkin Carving Tips

  • Before carving make sure the inside of the inside walls of the pumpkin are scooped such that they are approximately one inch thick. This will make it much easier to carve.

  • Older children should be supervised when using sharp tools or knives. It’s recommended to use flexible serrated saws that come with many carving kits as they are more maneuverable and require less force to do the job.

  • Remember to use short strokes moving the cutting hand away from the body.

Tips for Preserving the Pumpkin

  • Coat all exposed freshly cut edges of the pumpkin with a petroleum jelly based product to seal and protect the surface to prevent premature decay.

  • Spray the interior/exterior of the pumpkin, as well as the underside of the pumpkin’s cap with a bleach based cleaner such as Clorox Clean Up

  • To help revive an older Jack-O-Lantern try soaking it in a bucket of cool water for a couple of hours.

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