Safety tips for pumpkin carving

This Halloween, don't let jack-o'-lantern carving get scary. Here's how to avoid injury.

Safe pumpkin carving with small child.

The combination of slippery pumpkins and sharp knives can be dangerous. Follow these tips, and other Halloween decorating safety tips, to help keep everyone safe this year.

Is there a minimum age for carving a pumpkin?

Consumer Reports recommends that children 14 and younger should not do the actual pumpkin carving. But younger kids can still get in on the fun:

  • Have them draw the patterns for their pumpkins.
  • Allow them to decorate their pumpkins with markers, paint or non-carving decoration kits.
  • Let them clean out the seeds and pulp from inside the pumpkins.

If you decide to let your teens carve pumpkins, closely supervise in case anything goes wrong.

When should I carve my pumpkin?

  • A carved pumpkin usually lasts three to five days.
  • If the weather is cooler, you can carve your pumpkin up to seven days before Halloween.

What pumpkin carving tools should be used?

Big kitchen knives aren't the best fit for this job. According to Consumer Reports, a pumpkin carving kit is a safer option. The tools in these kits are smaller and designed to easily pierce pumpkins, but not as sharp as your average kitchen knives.

  • Work slowly and steadily — don't rush the project.
  • Cut away from your body with the carving tool.

What are some pumpkin carving safety tips?

Before you start carving, prepare your pumpkin carving area and tools:

  • Follow proper technique to avoid finger and hand injuries.
  • Use small, controlled motions when carving.
  • Keep your free hand out of the way to avoid mishaps.
  • Make sure the carving area is dry, well lit and on a stable surface.
  • Wash and dry all of your tools before carving.
  • Keep your hands clean and dry to avoid slipping.

Safe pumpkin carving is just one key to a happy Halloween. Get more Halloween safety tips for a worry-free holiday from State Farm®.


The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

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