ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — Ahead of Halloween next Monday,  Arnot Health is offering some tips and tricks to avoid injuries while carving pumpkins.

Chris Kulikowski, an occupational therapist at St. Josephs hospital in Elmira, said that it’s important to carve in a well-lit and dry area while using a sharp carving tool. Kulikowski added that it’s important to frequently dry your tools as well as your pumpkin in order to avoid slipping. When carving, make sure to take your time and don’t rush to avoid making a mistake and injuring yourself.

A sharp knife might seem appealing to carve with, but if you’re not careful you can potentially get it stuck in the pumpkin and cut yourself when dislodging it. Serrated blades are less likely to get stuck while cutting and if you do make a mistake and injure yourself, they’re less likely to cut as deep.

Kulikowski also stressed the importance of doing your design work first and then cutting away the top of the pumpkin. If you cut away the top first, you might be tempted to stick your hand in to stabilize while carving, which could lead to your hand being in the path of the knife.

Children should also be advised while decorating pumpkins for Halloween. Some fun activities that kids can take part in that don’t involve carving includes picking out the pumpkin, making a design, or scooping and collecting the pumpkin seeds. Kulikowski recommended that kids could use ‘push-in’ designs, prebuilt plastic or wooden decorations that you can stab into the pumpkin.