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Keep Head Lice at bay with Vosene Kids - 9 out of 10 parents recommend new Vosene Kids shampoo and spray to help repel head lice and keep their kids' hair clean and conditioned. At just £2.49 a bottle it's the affordable way to help keep those unwanted horrors at bay. Click here to find out more

Hello from Mumsnet HQ...

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...Where, mindful of the need to save pennies in these troubled times, we've added a house swap forum in Talk (if any southern hemisphere beach-dwelling Mumsnetters fancy two weeks off the Holloway Road over Christmas, do contactus@mumsnet.com).

Our Kenco survey isn't just about a week in Costa Rica y'know, it's also for coffee lovers everywhere so, if you haven't done so already, make sure you complete it to be in with a shot at winning one of ten luxury coffee hampers with a six-month supply of Kenco.

We've been asked by shadow family minister Maria Miller to gather your thoughts on the support you received during your child's first couple of weeks. Please take a few moments to fill out the survey and you could win Revilo toys worth £150, which should come in nice and handy for Christmas (not that we're thinking about it yet, of course).

And now for this week's parenting news ...

Cerebral palsy warning: Doctors have been warned not to give antibiotics to women at risk of premature labour because of an increased chance their babies will have cerebral palsy. The warning follows a seven-year trial, which found a link between antibiotics and damage to babies. Experts say antibiotics still have an important role to play where mothers have an infection during pregnancy (Guardian 18.09.08).

Comic-style sex pamphlet out: A 12-page comic-style sex education pamphlet for six year olds has been published by the FPA (formerly the Family Planning Association) to encourage earlier discussion of the facts of life. One puzzle asks children to draw a line from the words 'vagina' and 'testicles' to the correct areas on a picture of a naked girl and boy. Critics of the pamphlet say years of sex education have done nothing to tackle the UK teenage pregnancy rate, still one of the highest in Europe, and starting sex education even earlier will make the problem worse (Times 18.09.08).

We asked 100 Mumsnet mums with kids 6+ to try new LISTERINE Smart Rinse mouthwash in their homes. What did they say? "The children are enjoying using it and treating teeth brushing as a treat, not a chore." For more about LISTERINE Smart Rinse and answers to your most pressing dental care questions, click here.

Other stories in brief

Children are spending less time reading with their parents but twice as long in front of the TV, according to research, with parents giving tiredness, preparing meals and the demands of homework as the main excuses for not reading more with their children (Times 18.09.08); China is trying to calm fears about exports of tainted baby milk powder to five developing nations, following news that thousands of Chinese babies have fallen ill and at least three have died after drinking milk formula tainted with melamine, a substance banned in food (Independent 18.09.08); girls with mild autism are less likely to be identified and diagnosed than boys, say researchers, after a study examining 493 boys and 100 girls with autistic spectrum disorders (BBC Online 17.09.08); the number of babies lost as a result of Down's syndrome testing is "unjustifiable", says Down Syndrome Education International, which estimates two healthy foetuses are miscarried for every three found to have the condition (BBC Online 17.09.08).

Hot threads:

Competitions

Yes, we've moved our competitions to their very own slot - how exciting! Up for grabs this week are:

Quote of the week

Swedes on whether or not it's ever OK to lie on MN: "I did once lie about being able to fart the tune Jerusalem through my fanny. But I was new and trying to fit in."

Looking for somewhere for an autumn day out? Mumsnetters' recommendations this week include:

Looking for a job to fit in with your family? WorkingMums.co.uk helps you find full time, part time, flexible and home based jobs which will help you achieve a better work/life balance. You will find jobs across all industries, levels and regions. Click here to visit today.

Blog of the week: BoyBlu's bone-lengthening blog

An outing to the Imperial War Museum's WW1 trench reconstruction had a few access issues: "Bf went back to bring [BoyBlu's] wheelchair to the exit - but couldn't because due to some tardis-like property of the trench it finished up at the top of a flight of stairs. She had to leave Ds alone in the trench - lying on a mock wooden bench with a mock dead body and another mannequin of a soldier reciting a letter he was writing to his mother, while she ran round trying to find the end of the trench."

Want to join in the blogosphere? Start your own Mumsnet blog.

Carmenere's recipe of the week: LemonMagnolia's Duck Cassoulet

The great thing about cassoulet is there's no right or wrong way to cook it. As long as it contains sausage, beans, meat and some liquid, it's a cassoulet. It's a cheap, adaptable recipe that can be dumbed down for school nights or poshed up for entertaining - and it can be as healthy or as indulgent as you like.

That's your lot this week, we're off to practise our own party tricks.

Love,
Mumsnet Towers

Desmond Morris's fascinating new book Baby celebrates the miracle of new life through a mixture of stunning photography and artwork, amazing facts and unique insights. To celebrate its launch, Hamlyn books are offering Mumsnetters a fantastic 30% off and free P&P when they visit Octopus Books before 1 December 2008.

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