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Hello from Mumsnet HQ...

Where we've been all of a Twitter very busy with Important Things. Women's minister Harriet Harman asked us to pass on her thanks for the huge response to her appeal for your views on how families are being hit by the recession. And shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley is our next webchat guest, at lunchtime on Tues 24 Feb, to talk about women in labour being turned away from maternity units.

We've also been busy updating all your children's book reviews. If one of your kids' favourites is listed, please add your comments (you could help make it a Mumsnet Best award winner). But if your children's top reads aren't there, then please add a new review.

We are, of course, inordinately proud of our own new book - Toddlers: The Mumsnet Guide. We hope against hope you're ordering copies for all friends/relatives/glancing acquaintances with babies or little ones. Very funny publicity posters are still available by emailing marketing@bloomsbury.com with 'mumsnet' in the subject line.

Now for this week's parenting news ...

Baby hip fears: More than half of England's primary care trusts have no policy to screen newborns for hip problems, according to research by the charity Steps. It found 57% of trusts had no staff guidance on checks that should be carried out, in accordance with advice, at birth and at six to eight weeks. Screening is important to spot hip dysplasia, a condition diagnosed in up to 2,000 babies and children each year. Left undetected and untreated, it can lead to deformity and disability, and a UK-wide screening programme has been in place since 1969. A representative for the trusts said the absence of policy did not necessarily mean no screening was taking place at these hospitals. But Sue Banton, founder and director of Steps, said: "Our research highlights a staggering gap in health policy, which, if correctly followed, could detect lower limb conditions at an early age and save both parents and children from years of pain and emotional distress." (BBC Online 19.02.09)

Kids savvy on cash: Children are more financially aware younger than before and those as young as seven now expect cash rewards for jobs around the home to fund their spending, according to a survey of children, parents and grandparents by the education charity pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group). It found the average age for a child to get a mobile phone is eight, and by ten as many as 15% of kids shop online. Children's spending power has almost doubled in recent years with the average weekly allowance now set at £6.32, compared with the equivalent £3.77 their parents received each week and the £2.38 their grandparents were given. The Government is to spend £11.5m on financial education lessons in schools, starting in June, to teach children about managing money. (Times 18.02.09)

Other stories in brief

MAKE TIME FOR CAKE TIME, 21–27 March 2009. Cake Time is a delicious way to support a fantastic cause. Simply bake or buy your favourite cakes, have fun eating them, and raise funds for Shelter. Register for your FREE PACK full of delicious recipes and goodies.

Hot threads

Domestic hiss - do women tend to stick to 'safe' topics of conversation, such as home and family?
Lies, damned lies and downright whoppers - the least plausible lies your children have come out with?
Slevin?!? - does your other half favour bizarre, Ikea-esque baby names?
Brew ha ha - do you get heated about hot drinks at toddler groups?
Dr Who? - a dark tale of deceit, intrigue, small children and Twittering Time Lords...

Competitions

Lots of gorgeous baby-related prizes this week:

Find out what you have to do to enter. Bonne chance.

GREAT MUMSNET MEMBER OFFERS Get a 10% discount at Mama La Mode, the online boutique for style-conscious mothers to be. Baby Etc, specialists in everything you need for your baby’s nursery, are offering 10% off all their stock, and Yoursphere, a new social networking site for teenagers that puts online safety first, is offering Mumsnetters a year's free membership if they sign up before 23 March.

Quote of the week

Equalities secretary and women's minister Harriet Harman responding to your posts about the effects of the credit crunch and what the govt should be doing: "We shouldn't make policy without a Mumsnet check first!"

Looking for somewhere to take the kids? Mumsnetters recommend:

Aitch's TV round-up: 30 Rock, Five US, Fri 20 February, 9pm
This week, one to set the hard drive for, as for some UNFATHOMABLE reason Five has plonked one of the best comedies in America on to its little cousin channel Five US, otherwise known as the one with all the CSIs. Let's not get started on why terrestrial channels in the UK treat yank comedy genius with such disdain - Seinfeld, Larry Sanders, Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm - all boinked into funny little late-night slots on lesser channels. Clearly something to do with scheduler manhood size. Read more...

Carmenere's recipe of the week: Heymammy's Cheese and Sweetcorn Pancakes
Next Tuesday is Pancake Day and although they're good with lemon juice and sugar (or toffee bananas and cream, or flamed in orange liqueur, or ice cream and chocolate sauce) this savoury recipe makes an excellent tea without filling up the little darlings with sugar. (You can always knock up a more indulgent version for yourselves after bedtime.)


That's all, we're off to follow Stephen Fry set the world to rights.
Love,
Mumsnet Towers

DO SOMETHING FUNNY FOR MONEY! It has never been easier to get involved in Red Nose Day (13th March) – you just need to do something funny for money! The website is packed with ideas and tools to get you started, as well as tons of tailored learning activities for you and your little one. Find out more.

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