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  • Hurricane Sandy: Games to Play in the Dark

    By: Caitlin Ultimo
    If Hurricane Sandy is making her way through your town, hopefully you're well stocked with bottled water, canned foods, and candles. But, are you equipped with ways to keep bored or scared kids busy if the power goes out? While you still have electricity, read up on some fun games to play with your kids--no lights required!

    Talking to Kids About Hurricane Sandy

    Flashlight Limbo

    Two people, holding flashlights, face each other and make a steady beam of light for others to limbo under. Print out words to the Limbo Rock to make your own music; as kids are eliminated they can tap on the floor to the beat.

    Halloween Safety Tips

    Shadow Puppets

    Find a bare wall and use a flashlight's beam to set the stage. Make characters out of your hands' shadows and let the show be as long or as silly as you like.

    Hide and Seek in the Dark

    Hide a stuffed animal and set the kids out on a search for their toy with flashlights. Be sure to clear the

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  • Parents Take a Stand Against Yoga in Schools


    By: Caitlin Ultimo
    A new initiative to implement yoga classes in some California elementary schools has left a few parents less happy baby and more full-on warrior.

    A So-Cal school district started the yoga program in an effort to keep students active and healthy. All grades attend two 30-minute classes a week and researchers with the University of San Diego plan to monitor its effects.

    PLUS: 3 Yoga Poses to Try with Your Kids

    The county was given a $533,000 grant from the Jois Foundation, an Encinitas-based group that promotes Ashtanga Yoga, to use across the district, but now some parents are contesting the program.

    Seven district parents explained to the school board that they thought the program pushed Hinduism on children and violated religious freedom, reports the NC Times. "Yoga practices and poses are not merely exercise; they're religious practices," said Marsha Qualls, who has a student at one of the schools with the yoga program.

    PLUS: Pole Dancing for

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  • Julie Bowen Shares How She Dealt with Her Son's Peanut Allergy


    By: Sasha Emmons
    Modern Family
    actress Julie Bowen makes us laugh out loud in our living rooms each week. But a few years ago, she experienced a very un-funny and serious health scare with her oldest son (she has three boys). Oliver, then 18 months, experienced anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction that can be deadly without medical care. Now she's working with the Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis campaign ( to get the word out to parents and schools so they know the triggers and warning signs: trouble breathing, swelling, nausea, and itchiness, among others. She took some time out to chat with about that scary day, the season of Modern Family ahead, and her part in changing old attitudes.

    PLUS: Is Nut-Free Not Fair?

    How did you find out your son had his peanut allergy?

    I was at work, and my husband sent me a text, with this picture that showed Oliver's swollen and misshapen face. He had eaten peanut butter and had been stung by a bee at

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  • Monday Night Football Saved This Woman's Life

    By: Erin Zammett Ruddy
    As I'm sure you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, which means a whole lot of stuff that isn't usually pink is now pink (Nick and I actually burned a breast cancer ribbon-wrapped Duraflame log the other night-the flames were pink, I kid you not.) October is also peak season for football and the NFL has been pinked right along with our yogurt containers and fake, chemical-laced logs. The players wear pink cleats, the refs toss pink coins, the goal posts are wrapped in pink pads, and, of course, the cheerleaders shake pink pom poms. There is an ongoing debate over what impact the pinking of America truly has on the epidemic of breast cancer in this country but before you weigh in, read this email, sent to the New York Jets two days ago:

    Name: Tina A

    Subject: Community Relations

    Message: Last year October I was watching a Jets game and noticed the pink the team was wearing. I didn't know why and asked my husband. He said it was for

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  • Amazing Kid Invention

    By Sasha Emmons
    A team of high school kids has come up with a brilliant idea: a toddler T-shirt that automatically inflates if it gets soaking wet--kind of like an air bag for water accidents-while also sounding an alarm for help. Called the Wawawescue, it's intended to keep kids who are playing near water safe from drowning accidents.

    What's even cooler than the product itself? The fact that an all-girl team from Girls Leadership Academy of Arizona invented it. Now they have been selected for the InvenTeams Program, an initiative to encourage interest in math and science. The girls will receive up to $10,000 to develop their product, with mentoring from experts in the field along the way.

    Plus: The Pool Safety Hazard You Don't Know About

    The team was inspired to make the product when it discovered that 46 people, 15 of them kids, had drowned in the first half of 2012. The ingenious design features a dissolvable bobbin that is only triggered if the child is immersed in

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  • Kid Halloween Costumes Seized for Lead Contamination

    By Caitlin Ultimo
    © NBC NewsWith Halloween approaching, we expect tricks, but not a trick this dirty.

    Federal inspectors have seized nearly 1,400 Chinese-made little girl pirate costumes that were on their way to a Seattle retailer. Authorities found they contained 11 times the legal limit for lead.

    PLUS: 35+ Easy Homemade Halloween Costumes for Kids

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission tested the costumes for lead after they were singled out for inspection by customs due to a past violation, reports MSNBC.

    The harmful substance was in the buttons and trim of the Halloween costume, which could have posed a major health threat if an unsuspecting child had put those pieces in their mouth. High levels of lead in a kid's blood can cause vomiting, coma or convulsions, while low levels can cause difficulties with learning and paying attention.

    PLUS: 75 Cute Homemade Halloween Costumes

    "We consider any kind of a children's product that has violative levels of lead to be

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  • Mom Who Battled Cancer Delivers Quadruplets

    By: Christina at
    © Our Quad Life, FacebookImagine being 24 years old, battling cancer, and breastfeeding quadruplets.

    Kind of put things in perspective, eh?

    Ashley Adams of Aurora, CO, has had quite the year. "When the doctors told us we were having quads, we were extremely terrified and ridiculously excited all at the same time," her husband, Andy, said. "It was just unimaginable."

    As if that wasn't enough to wrap your head around, Ashley was diagnosed with thyroid cancer four months into her high-risk pregnancy during a routine sonogram. The cancer had already spread to her lymph nodes. Her doctor speculates she'd had the cancer for a few years, but it went undiscovered as doctors don't think of cancer with patients that young.

    PLUS: 10 Moms Who Fought Cancer and Won

    Ashley decided that "dying was not an option."

    She waited to deliver her son, Wyatt, and three daughters (Samantha, Braelynn, and Rylie) at 30 weeks, before having the seven-hour cancer surgery.

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  • 19 Kids in a Hatchback?


    By: Brian Braiker
    Who knows what Melanie Minnie was thinking. Maybe she was teaching her students a lesson about spacial relationships? It could be she was doing an elaborate people-sized puzzle. Perhaps it was a logic problem, played out in real life.

    Whatever was going through this South African elementary teacher's head last Wednesday, she clearly wasn't thinking when she was packed 19 of her students into a four-door hatchback and drove off on a field trip.

    Halloween Safety Tips

    Minnie had apparently taken it upon herself to plan a lunch outing for 31 students - all ages 4 to 6 - which is in itself a lovely gesture considering her young charges had never been on one before.

    But the devil's in the details. In order to haul her 31 wards to a mall about a mile away for a celebratory meal, Minnie did not ask for help. She did not rent a bus or hire a driver. No! That would be so much less efficient! Or something!

    Instead, Minnie opted to haul all of the

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  • Viral Video: "You Need to Toughen Up a Bit"

    By: Brian Braiker

    This little lass has a bright future, probably running all of the Fortune 500 companies while being president of Earth.

    Check out this exceptionally endearing clip (which has been forwarded to us by almost everyone on the planet) of a little girl telling her 2-year-old younger brother to clean up his act. "You should toughen up a bit. Think about it."

    Young Gabriel doesn't seem too thrilled about being at the business end of his sister's tough love. But we're pretty sure it's in his best interests to heed her counsel.

    More from
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  • Susan Sontag's Rules for Raising Children

    By: Brian Braiker
    © Corbis

    Susan Sontag's diaries are remarkable documents of an evolving writer and thinker, and have been published in two volumes: Reborn: Journals & Notebooks, 1947--1963 and As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980. It is in the first installment that we get a glimpse of Sontag that particularly resonated with us: Writing in her journal in September of 1959, a 26-year-old Susan Sontag listed her 10 rules for raising a child.

    Remembered today as a filmmaker, literary icon, and political activist, Sontag gives us a small gift with this list, which was recently blogged by Maria Popova at Brain Pickings. It is a rare glimpse of herself at the cusp of fulfilling her promise, a young mother reminding herself of what is important to her. (As a side note: the collection this list appears in was edited by her son David Rieff, so she must have done something right.)

    Here, in full, are Susan Sontag's child rearing tips - a list as touching as

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