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Coping with Kids: Capes transform kids into robots, wizards, pirates

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“Freddy the Frogcaster”
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American Girl
American Girl magazine offers holiday crafts and ideas for young girls.
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www.everfan.com.
Everfan Superhero Cape Sets are popular with kids.

Nothing transforms kids and their imaginations faster than their very own cape — turning a boring afternoon into an imaginative adventure of spontaneity.

Everfan capes might be preferable to large, noisy, expensive toys, because kids have a chance to use their imaginations. Because caped crusaders often need to protect their identity, the capes come with a matching mask and wrist power bands.

The capes are available in dragons, robots, fairies, wizards and pirates themes or they can be personalized. The polyester-satin cape, mask and power band sets sell for $26.

Details: www.everfan.com.

Frog makes splash in forecasting

Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean is the author of “Freddy the Frogcaster” (Regnery Kids, $16.95), a book about a young frog intrigued by clouds, precipitation, thermometers, barometers and all things weather.

The illustrated book is written at a guided reading level of K (for second-grade readers).

It’s a resource for introducing kids to science and includes activities and weather terms and teaches kids the importance of determination and following their dreams.

American Girl gives holiday ideas

American Girl magazine’s November/December issue gives readers ideas for free gifts that add up to holiday cheer. The gift ideas, such as making homemade decorations, wrapping gifts for an elderly neighbor or reading a book to younger kids at a holiday party encourage girls to get creative and helpful at the same time.

Because the holidays can be super busy, girls can be a “helpful elf” and provide free baby-sitting for parents who need to shop or get ready for a party, watch holiday movies with the kids or play games in the backyard.

Girls can see the ideas or enjoy other games and puzzles at www.americangirl.com/play/magazine.

ER visits fall after warnings about cough meds

Fewer kids went to U.S. emergency departments for reactions related to over-the-counter cough and cold medicine after manufacturers printed new warnings on medicine bottles, says a new government study, reported by Reuters Health.

But the researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlants say more can be done to prevent kids from accidentally taking cough and cold medicine.

Help kids cope with upsetting events

In an age when school shootings and other upsetting incidents regularly appear on the news, parents may wonder what to say to their kids to help them cope. Dr. Prakash Masand, a psychiatrist and president of Global Medical Education, suggests asking questions about how your kids are feeling, being supportive, encouraging them to express their feelings and never ridiculing them.

Other suggestions include:

• Be honest with your kids and explain that, although these events are rare, they do happen sometimes. Emphasize that school is generally a safe place.

• Remain calm. Your kids will absorb your mood when you react to stress.

• Maintain the child’s normal daily routine. This can be comforting.

• Spend extra time with your child to reinforce a sense of security.

• Watch for warning signs of severe reactions, like nightmares, exaggerated startle response

Send parenting news to Coping With Kids in care of Rebecca Killian, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, D.L. Clark Building, 503 Martindale St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212, or e-mail rkillian@tribweb.com.

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