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Hello from Mumsnet HQ...
...Where we're nervously totting up the cash raised so far from Mumsnet Christmas cards. Read glowing testimonials to the cards' quality and then place an order. You'll spread good cheer, raise money for a good cause - and save MN from bankruptcy. (Whose idea were Christmas cards, anyway?)
sharp reminder gentle nudge to point out there are only two weeks left to post your review of the Time for a Story software. Everyone who does, has a chance to win one of six sets of £25 M&S vouchers.
And finally, the Christmas emoticons have been dusted off for their seasonal outing. So now you can be unreasonable with a Santa hat on. Ho, ho, ho.
Now for this week's parenting news ...
Abuse widespread: The number of children being physically, sexually or emotionally abused is a 'much bigger problem' than previously thought, according to a paper published this week in The Lancet. Professor Ruth Gilbert, from University College London, who led the study, said if all cases of child maltreatment were to be investigated, social services would be 'overwhelmed'. Parents who hit their children are also statistically more likely to go on to abuse them, said Dr Richard Reading, from the University of East Anglia. Lancet editor Richard Horton said it was a much bigger public health problem than is currently perceived and the risk factors run deep into society (Daily Telegraph 02.12.09).
Measles outbreak: More than 10,000 children in Cheshire are being vaccinated to head off a measles epidemic. The Health Protection Agency said there had been 75 reported cases of the illness in central and eastern parts of the county in 2008. Officials have identified 10,534 children - 17% of Cheshire's school population - who have not had the MMR or the pre-school booster jab. Cheshire has the UK's highest rate of reported measles outside of London, which officials say is a legacy of the fears over the safety of the MMR jab which emerged in the 1990s (BBC Online 02.12.08).
Other stories in brief
Spanish has replaced German as the second most popular language learnt in schools, and the number of state schools offering Mandarin as an option has more than trebled in the past two years, from one in 25 to more than one in seven (Independent 04.12.08); children who are left-handed score lower in IQ tests and, throughout their school career, will score around 1% lower in tests than right-handed children, according to research by the Economic and Social Research Council (Daily Telegraph 02.12.08); exercise during pregnancy could put women at greater risk of pre-eclampsia, researchers claimed this week (Daily Mail 03.12.08); a survey of local authorities in England has found bullying is among the most common reasons for parents taking their children out of school - more than 17,000 school-age children are now taught at home (Daily Telegraph 02.12.08); one of the conjoined twins separated at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital has died - Hope Williams, whose sister Faith is said to have a 50/50 chance of survival, died because her lungs had failed, Professor Agostino Pierro said (BBC Online 03.12.08).
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This week's lovely prizes are:
Quote of the week
In a discussion about the 'advice' MNetters have been given by health visitors, Pinkjennybellrock reported: "I am famous in local health visitor circles for being
mad neurotic. I rang last week because I could 'feel dd's heart beating through her chest'. Health visitor told me to ring back if I couldn't feel it."
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Looking for a day out? Mumsnetters recommend:
For more pre-Christmas events and outings ideas, visit your MN Local site.
Carmenere's recipe of the week:
Christmas Quorn Wellington
Tempting as it may be, it's not really fair just to sling a few sprouts and a roast potato at the vegetarians on Christmas Day. This recipe's really tasty, festive enough to make veggies feel included and can be easily prepared on Christmas Eve. (Just remember not to serve with turkey gravy and goose-fat roasted potatoes.)
That's your lot, we're off to source real Santa hats for the HQ Xmas do (where hopefully we'll flog some Christmas cards).
CABBAGES AND FROCKS OUTDOOR CHRISTMAS FAIR: Sun 7 Dec, 11am-5pm, William Ellis School, Highgate Rd, London NW5 1RN. Perfect presents from designer fashion and jewellery to toys, books and games. Delicious hot food and drinks to enjoy after skating on Hampstead Heath. And Father Christmas is hoping to make a surprise appearance!
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