Thursday, October 31, 2013

It’s the Great Pumpkin Season

by Micaela Rosinski, intern contributor



Fall is quite possibly the best time of the year. It makes me giddy to watch leaves change colors, pull out comfy sweaters, and enjoy the cooling weather. But most importantly, it is the season of all things pumpkin. Pumpkin carving, pumpkin pies and lattes…it is all fantastic. However, if the proper safety precautions are not taken, pumpkin festivities can turn into pumpkin mishaps.


Pumpkin Carving Safety: Carving pumpkins is a great activity to do with the family in preparation for Halloween. However, knives and other sharp objects can prove to be dangerous if not handled properly. Never leave children unattended with any type of knife. Teach your children an appropriate, safe method for carving their pumpkin. Ensure the outside of the pumpkin is dry to prevent hands from slipping during the carving process. In the event someone does cut their hand, have your Red Cross first aid kit handy to sanitize and properly care for the wound. Or, download our first aid app...just in case.

Pumpkin Pies and Confections: If you dare to branch out from your favorite store-bought pie and attempt to make your own, always practice safe cooking. Cooking is a top cause of home fires in the United States. Check food regularly while cooking. Keep kitchen clean and organized at all times, and store a fire extinguisher nearby. For additional kitchen safety, visit redcross.org and enjoy a disaster-free pie!

Hot Drinks Galore: I lose count of how many pumpkin spice lattes I enjoy during autumn. Be careful consuming your drink of choice. Burning your tongue or the roof of your mouth can ruin the tasty experience. Also be sure to not spill your drink to avoid burning skin.

Be Aware of Allergies: Food allergies to pumpkin and pumpkin products are rare, but possible. Reactions can occur various ways. If hands and arms become itchy after playing with the wonderful guts of the pumpkin at carving time, simply wash your hands with soap and water to remove pumpkin residue. If there appears to be an allergic reaction after consuming pumpkin, closely monitor the reaction and see a medical professional if necessary. 

Gather Around the Fireplace: In front of the fireplace is a great spot to carve pumpkins, watch a holiday film, and enjoy moments with family and friends. If it has been an extended period of time since you have utilized the fireplace, ensure the chimney is clean and clear of anything that could cause a house fire. Also use a sturdy fire screen around the fireplace when in use, especially if there are children.

Pumpkin Patch: So, your child convinced you to buy the largest pumpkin they found at the pumpkin patch, or you personally thought it would be great. Be careful picking that bad boy up! Lift with your knees and ask for help if you feel it is too heavy to get to your car. Or, simply purchase two smaller pumpkins instead.

Fall is a fabulous time of year. With pumpkin madness thrown into the mix, the season just cannot be beat. So get carving, cooking and drinking, and make your home smell like an autumn festival!

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