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Many of you will be carving your pumpkins for Halloween in the upcoming week, so NeXt offers some carving tips from Pumpkin Masters’ master carver Gene Granata:

Remember safety first and carve carefully: Did you know it’s less dangerous to saw a pumpkin when you’re carving it, rather than slice?

1. Create a safe workspace. Set out your carving materials on a well-lit, dry surface. Make sure everyone has the tools they need right in front them, and that kids can reach the space easily.

2. Choose the right tools. Using household kitchen knives can be dangerous, especially for children, so we recommend carving tools specifically designed for kids.

3. Point the blade away. No matter which carving tool you’re using, point the blade away from you as you carve. If your hand slips, you’re less likely to get hurt.

4. Saw, don’t slice. Instead of using a sweeping movement, like slicing, try gently sawing through the pumpkin as you carve. Go as slowly as you need to avoid slipping.

5. Watch your hands – and others’! Be mindful of where everyone’s free hands are when carving. Whether you’re carving yourself or you’re holding a pumpkin for someone else, keep one hand on top of the pumpkin instead of on the side. That way it’s within sight, which will decrease the risk of poking or slicing through the pumpkin – and into someone’s hand.