Weekly family rail, with tips on flu vaccinations, a review of “Igor” and more.
Tip of the Week: Make sure your kids get vaccinated
School-age children say being sick makes them feel bored, annoyed, gross and even sad, according to the recent MedImmune Parent-Child Influenza Survey conducted by Harris Interactive. The National Center for Health Statistics estimates 38 million school days are missed each year by kids sick with the flu -- that's a lot of unhappy children.
Parents can help kids avoid missing school because of the flu by making sure they get a flu vaccination every year as soon as vaccine is available. There is even more emphasis on this for 2008-09 season, as an advisory panel for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently expanded its recommendations to include all school-age children through the age of 18.
If your kids go in for back-to-school check-ups or annual well-child visits, see if you can check flu vaccination off of your to-do list. Many offices and clinics may already have a supply of the needle-free, nasal spray flu vaccine FluMist, which is approved for eligible people two to 49 years of age and has been shown to help provide protection throughout the flu season, even when administered early. (ARA)
Family Screening Room
Rated: PG (for some thematic elements, scary images, action and mild language)
Synopsis: "Igor" is a playfully irreverent animated comedy that brings a new twist to the classic monster genre. It tells the story of a mad scientist's hunchbacked lab assistant who has big dreams of becoming a scientist in his own right and winning the coveted first place award at the annual Evil Science Fair.
Violence/gore rating: 3.5
Sexual-content rating: 2
Profanity rating: 2
Scary/tense-moments rating: 3.5
Drugs/alcohol rating: 1.5
Family Time rating: 3. The scariness/violence might be too much for some children, so make sure your youngsters can handle it.
(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
Kids Kitchen: Cream Cheese Pumpkin Pie
1 small can (15 oz.) pumpkin pie filling
1 pkg soft (8 oz.) Philly cream cheese
1 large tub Cool Whip
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 deep 9-inch graham cracker pie crusts (wafer or ginger snap may be substituted)
Cinnamon (to sprinkle on top)
Ready Whip (for serving)
Combine pumpkin, cream cheese and spice in mixer until well blended. Fold into Cool Whip gently, so that it stays fluffy. Spoon into pie shells. Crust should be well filled. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. To serve, top with Ready Whip and a light sprinkling of cinnamon for the perfect finishing touch. (Cooks.com)
“Where the Wild Things Are,” by Maurice Sendak
Ages: 4 to 8
“Where the Wild Things Are” is one of those truly rare books that can be enjoyed equally by a child and a grown-up. If you disagree, then it's been too long since you've attended a wild rumpus. Max dons his wolf suit in pursuit of some mischief and gets sent to bed without supper. Fortuitously, a forest grows in his room, allowing his wild rampage to continue unimpaired. Sendak's color illustrations (perhaps his finest) are beautiful, and each turn of the page brings the discovery of a new wonder. The wild things manage somehow to be scary-looking without ever really being scary; at times they're downright hilarious. This Sendak classic is more fun than you've ever had in a wolf suit, and it manages to reaffirm the notion that there's no place like home. (Amazon.com)
Play Inside: “Connect Four”
Ages: 7 and older
The rules are simple: Try to build a row of four checkers while keeping your opponent from doing the same. Sounds easy, but it's not. The classic vertical strategy game creates a unique challenge -- you must think in a whole new way to block your opponent's moves and to try to win.
Pet Tip: Water dish advice
If your dog’s water dish is outside, make sure it’s not a metal dish before cold weather moves in – your dog’s tongue could get stuck to the metal in freezing temperatures.
GateHouse News Service