Weekly family rail, with tips for pets around the holidays, a review of “Fame,” a look at another Halloween book and more.
Tip of the Week
Here are the AVMA's top 10 pet tips for holiday safety:
1. Be wary of holiday decorations; pets often consume them. "The animal raids the Christmas tree, for example, and this can be unhealthy for the pet and very upsetting for the pet owners," says Dr. Larry R. Corry, AVMA president. "If they consume enough tinsel or other decorations, it can cause a blockage that requires surgery."
2. Flowers are another common holiday feature that can result in an emergency visit. Poinsettias, Amaryllis and mistletoe are on the list of common holiday plants that can be dangerous and even poisonous to house pets who decide to eat them, Corry says.
3. Just like people, some pets are better at dealing with houseguests than others. If you know your pet has a problem with visitors, work with your veterinarian for solutions.
4. Don't let your pet climb the Christmas tree. If the tree falls over, your pet could be injured. Consider tying the tree to the ceiling or a doorframe using fishing line.
5. Cover Christmas tree water to keep animals from drinking it. The sap from live Christmas trees can make your pet sick.
6. Many people believe that people food makes good treats for their pets, but this isn't the case. Many common ingredients in a holiday feast - like onions, garlic, chocolate and artificial sweeteners - are poisonous to pets. And dogs that consume an excessive amount of fatty foods, by cleaning a turkey carcass pulled from the trash, for example, can develop a life-threatening condition called pancreatitis.
7. Whether they are Halloween candies or Christmas chocolate, keep sweets out of your pet's reach, particularly while you're out. A pet that consumes chocolates while you're away at work, for example, might be too sick for your veterinarian to save by the time you get home.
8. Unplug decorations while you're not around. Cats and dogs are often tempted to chew electrical cords.
9. Keep any gift that includes human food out of a pet's reach. With their sensitive sense of smell, dogs and cats can find those wrapped treats and open them when you're not around.
10. Candles are a common part of many holiday celebrations. Make sure that you keep lit candles out of a pet's reach, because the animal could light themselves, or your home, on fire.
Family Screening Room
Rated: PG (for thematic material including teen drinking, a sexual situation and language)
Synopsis: Much like in the Oscar-winning original from 1980, directed by Alan Parker, this story tracks the failures and fortunes of super-ambitious young performers and their teachers as they navigate a school year at the prestigious High School for the Performing Arts in New York,
Violence/scary rating: 2
Sexual-content rating: 3
Profanity rating: 3
Drugs/alcohol rating: 3
Family Time rating: 3.
(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
Halloween is coming up fast, so to get your children in the mood for the spookiest holiday of the year, we’ll be featuring scary books in this space until Halloween.
“In the Haunted House,” by Eve Bunting (author) and Susan Meddaugh (illustrator)
A little girl and her father tour a dark, mysterious house, eventually revealed to be a "Halloween House." But it’s not all “scary,” as there are laughs here as well.
Did You Know
According to CDC.org, 20 percent of high school students have smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days.
GateHouse News Service