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Keep Head Lice at bay with Vosene Kids: Nine out of ten 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...

Boots MPU

...Where unless you've got a letter from your mum, we've some homework for you to do in the form a short poll. Share your views on homework and you could win one of four Dyson vacuum cleaners or a Sony camcorder (we say bribery is getting way out of control).

Your votes have been counted for our October Book of the Month and The Ghost Road by Pat Barker is the winner. So buy it, read it and join the book club discussion on Tuesday 28 October from 8-10pm. If you're new to book club but longing to join in, here's how it works.

Dr Tanya Byron and Freeview are doing some research into children and TV and they need your help. Let the kids fight over the remote control long enough for you do the survey and you'll be in with a chance of winning £250 worth of vouchers for either The White Company, SpaceNK or Boden.

Another week, another great discount partner: P-V Holidays, who operate apartments and hotels in top French ski resorts, are offering Mumsnet members 20% off until the 31st of October and one lucky Mumsnet family can win a week's free accommodation. Ooh la la!

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

New internet safety boost: The government has launched a one-stop shop for parents who want help to protect their children on the internet. The UK council for Child Internet Safety will bring together more than 100 public and private organisations to develop a national strategy on child safety online, providing parents with the information they need to keep their families safe. It will look at introducing voluntary codes of practice for the industry and will advise parents about how to use 'safe' settings on search engines and computer security controls (Times 29.09.08).

Alcohol warning: Parents who offer alcohol to their teenage children in the hope of teaching them to drink responsibly may be increasing their risk of becoming heavy drinkers. A study has found that any teenage exposure to alcohol, especially before the age of 15, seems to raise the desire to drink in later life. Even 'socially responsible' drinking (such as sharing watered-down wine with parents at mealtimes) seems to have this effect. The findings suggest exposure to alcohol in teenage years, when the brain is developing, may change it in ways that leave people with a stronger taste for drink later in life. The researchers suggest delaying drinking until 18 (Sunday Times 28.09.08).

If you request a Jump brochure before 31 December 2008, we'll send you a copy of Money: Your Children, Their Future, an invaluable guide for any parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle looking to save on behalf of a child.

Other stories in brief

Mentally ill children are being failed by the NHS in England, with many treated on adult wards, according to the children's commissioner (BBC Online 01.10.08); independent schools get better results than state schools because they have the freedom to tailor teaching to the needs of their pupils, researchers say, in a report that suggests social background and ability are not the only factors behind higher grades in private schools (BBC Online 01.10.08); middle-class parents should be prepared to spend more on their children's university education, Oxford University chancellor Lord Patten said this week when he urged the government to remove the 'intolerably low' £3,140 cap on student fees (Guardian 01.10.08); mothers who breastfeed for a year over the course of their lifetime are almost 5 per cent less likely to develop breast cancer, according to an analysis by the World Cancer Research Fund, reported in The Times (29.09.08).

Hot threads

Competitions

This week you could win:

Quote of the week

Lio asked if she was being unreasonable to want to use Bach's Goldberg Variations for pass the parcel at her five-year-old son's birthday party: "We would have to make the parcel 32 layers thick, which obv has environmental implications. Dh thinks the children would get bored. I say we use the Glenn Gould 1955 recording, which is very zippy."

Planning a day out with the kids? Mumsnetters recommend:

We asked 100 Mumsnetters with kids aged 6-plus to try new LISTERINE Smart Rinse mouthwash in their homes. What did they say? "Having tried it, I can see my son's teeth are undoubtedly cleaner - I think because he finds it fun!" For more about LISTERINE Smart Rinse and answers to your most pressing dental care questions, click here.

Blog of the week: My old man

Cougar ponders the effects of impending fatherhood on the older man (in this case, 72): "Am I the only one who sees the old man grinning sheepishly in the corner transformed into a virile, sexy beast, the pertness of whose bum deserves re-assessment?"

Why not join the Mumsnet bloghood and share your musings on life.

Carmenere's recipe of the week: Slubberdegullion's braised brisket

This recipe is an excellent substitute for the usual Sunday roast and, as it's a 'sling it all in the oven' dish, allows plenty of time for pre-prandial MN-ing.

That's your lot for this week, we're off to finish our children's homework and curl up with our new book.

Love,
Mumsnet Towers

Author and columnist Tony Parsons is joining us on Monday 6 October for a live webchat from 9-10pm. Tony's sixth novel, My Favourite Wife, has just been published and is described by The Independent as 'a much bigger, more ambitious book' than the million-selling Man and Boy. If you can't make the chat but have questions you'd like to ask, please post them in advance. Hope to see you Monday.

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