How to keep your family safe while carving pumpkins

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Local pumpkin patches are open and if you've gone to the grocery store in the last couple weeks, there's a good chance you've seen pumpkins out front there too.

So it's time to pick out the perfect pumpkin and carve it up for Halloween - but how do make sure you do it safely?

Here with some simple things you can do to avoid a nasty cut and a trip to the doctor.

The number one thing Consumer Reports recommends not doing is using your own kitchen knives to carve a pumpkin.

Instead, get one of those carving kits which are designed to cut through pumpkin rinds and are easier to control - lowering the risk of cutting yourself. They're also pretty cheap.

Also, take your time. Keep your hands clean and dry and carve in a well-lit area.

And parents, Consumer Reports says it's better if kids 14-and-younger leave the carving to the adults. They can, of course, help draw patterns and clean the pumpkin out.

We visited Hunt Club Farm in Virginia Beach this week and talked with them about choosing the perfect pumpkin.

"Make sure it`s nice and firm and it fits into your decor. some people like the lighter pumpkin, this is a great eating pumpkin, some people are looking for a traditional carving pumpkin, so it`s all up to the individual and what they`re looking for," said Lynn Hudgin of Hunt Club Farm.

Here's something you might not have thought of.

Consumer Reports says carve your pumpkin with the top on so you're not tempted to put your hand inside while your other hand cuts the outside.

Instead cut a hole in the bottom and scoop it out, you can place the pumpkin over a lit candle to light it up.

And of course - if you still injure yourself - make sure you know first aid.