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Family valued 1.26.05 

Check out a field trip

Finding affordable family-oriented activities for 12 children was often a challenge for my parents. Fortunately, there were two institutions of real family value in the community --- the Corning Glass Center and the public library. Each offered programs that encouraged our creativity and helped to develop curiosity about the world. Today that cultural connection has come full circle for me. In a unique partnership between the Rochester Public Library (RPL) and the Memorial Art Gallery (MAG), families may now use a library card to borrow a family pass to MAG at a discounted price.

The pass entitles a borrower to $5 admission for a family of any size. This allows families who might not otherwise have the chance to see what the Gallery has to offer. The passes, available at the Central Library and all city branches, may be checked out to any adult with a valid library card on a first-come-first-served basis. Passes circulate for one week.

Thanks to a generous Friends to Friends grant, RPL and MAG have developed an exciting new series of family programs that complement the special art exhibits. The programs are designed to interest families in each of the upcoming exhibits as well as to expand their knowledge and appreciation of the exhibits through the use of library resources. Next up: programs on February 5 (Arnett Library) and February 13 (MAG) to coincide with the Paper Sculpture Exhibit.

Check it out! For more information call 428-8301.

--- Carolyn Schuler

This week for families:

Bepop to Bach: A Family Concert Sun, Jan 30. Children ages 2-7, Harley School, 1981 Clover St, 2-3 p.m. $5.

Brighton Memorial Library Stories for pre-K: Mondays 10 a.m.; for toddlers: Mondays 10:30 a.m.; for families: Thursdays 7 p.m. | Through Feb 25: Alice B. Wilson Literary Awards Contest, for Brighton residents grades 6-12. | 2300 Elmwood Ave, 784-5300

Daisy Doodle Sat, Jan 29. Girl Scouts of Genesee Valley, ages 5-6, 1020 John St, W Henrietta, 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. $15. 292-5160

Down in the Valley, Two by Two Wed, Feb 2. Storytelling and singing, David Anderson, Sankofa with Akwaaba, Wheatley Library, 33 Dr. Samuel McCree Way, 3:45-4:30 p.m. 428-8212

Helmer Nature Center Thurs, Jan 27, adventure blanket, grades 5-6, 4-7 p.m. $15. |Fri, Jan 28, Friends with Feathers with Ron Walker, 7-8 p.m. $3. | Helmer Nature Center, 154 Pinegrove Ave. 336-3035

Henrietta Public Library Storytimes for preschoolers: Wed, Jan 26, 10:15-10:45 a.m. | 455 Calkins Rd. 359-7092,

Karate Lessons City of Rochester Recreation Centers, ages 8-17. $5.Starting Mon, Jan 31: #46 school, 250 Newcastle Rd, 3:30-4:30 p.m. (428-7294) and East High School, 1801 E Main St, 6:30-7:30 p.m. (428-7294). Starting Wed, Feb 2: #42 School, 3330 Lake Ave, 3:30-4:30 p.m. (428-7829)

Preschool Workshop Thurs, Jan 27. Art project, story, Gallery tour, ages 2.5-5, Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. $17. 473-7720 ext 3056

Rochester Museum and Science Center 657 East Ave. Sat, Jan 29, Science Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. | Surprise! It's Science, through May 2005 | Rochester's Frederick Douglass, through January 2006 | Live Science! demos and theater, Sat 2, 3 (sign-interpreted), 4 p.m.; Sun 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 p.m. | Ongoing exhibits include: AdventureZone, Carlson Inquiry Room, At the Western Door | Hours: Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 12-5 p.m. Tix: $5-$7. 271-1880,

Shabbat Alive! Fri, Jan 28. Rick Recht, family service, Temple Sinai, 363 Penfield Rd, 8 p.m. 381-6890

Start With Art Thurs, Jan 27. For preschoolers, storytelling, art activity, Creative Workshop faculty, Barnes & Noble, 3349 Monroe Ave, 10 a.m. Free. 473-7720 ext 3056

Storytelling with Rafe Martin Sat, Jan 29. Visual Studies Workshop, 31 Prince St, 7 p.m. $5. 271-4548,

Strong Museum 1 Manhattan Square. Adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog, Jan 29-May 1. Opens Sat, Jan 29, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun, Jan 30, 12-5 p.m. | Long-term exhibits include National Toy Hall of Fame, Can You Tell Me How To Get To Sesame Street? and Super Kids Market. Hours: Mon-Thurs 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 12-5 p.m. Tix: $7; $6 seniors, students; $5 children. 263-2700

Swimming Lessons Saturdays through Mar 21. Ages 7-13, various recreation centers and schools. Free. 241-4443

Wednesdays For Tots Wed, Feb 2. Songs with Bart and Kevin, Strong Museum, 1 Manhattan Sq, 9:30 a.m. $7, $5 kids. 263-2700

Cold medicines

Coughs, sneezes, and honking noses are everywhere as we slog through another "cold and flu" season. Folks will spend a lot of money on over-the-counter medications promising multi-symptom relief. Most do not help. Here is my brief guide to common, non-prescription cold drugs.

Decongestants. There are only two kinds: pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) by mouth and decongestant nasal sprays (like Afrin). Both work by shrinking mucous membranes in your nose, but wear off quickly, leaving your nose even more congested. As stimulants, they raise heart rate and blood pressure, making it hard to sleep. I rarely recommend them. Salt water (saline) nose sprays are better.

Cough Suppressants. There is only one: dextromethorphan, which barely works. It doesn't work well if you have lots of mucus to cough up. It works best if you just have a tickle in your throat. Don't buy it in any form that lasts less than 12 hours. Tea with honey and lemon is about as good.

Expectorants. There is only one of these, too: guafenesin. It is controversial because research shows that drinking lots of fluids is as effective. It is supposed to loosen mucus in sinuses and lung tubes. So does drinking and gargling.

Antihistamines. These include diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and loratidine (Claritin, Alavert). They decrease allergy symptoms. Diphenhyrdramine makes people spacey, sleepy and irritable. Both make mucus thicker and drier, and don't help with colds or influenza.

Fever and Pain Drugs. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) work well for fever and pain. Unfortunately, they are often sold with the drugs above in fixed combinations so that you have to buy medicine you don't need.

None of these medicines will change the course of your cold. Often the side effects are worse than the benefits. Buy only single-ingredient medicines and ask your doctor how best to use them. Sleep, fluids, gargling, and saline nose sprays work about as well. If you've eluded a cold so far this winter, keep washing your hands!

--- Laurence I. Sugarman, MD

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