Thursday, August 02, 2012
Appropriate movies for children

By Dr. Anthony Policastro
We recently had what was clearly a mentally unstable individual attack patrons in a movie theater. The news of the event was sad. The news that one of the fatalities was a 6-year-old girl made the news even sadder. There was one thing about the story that I did not understand. The event was a midnight showing of the PG-13 Batman movie. I had trouble understanding what a 6-year-old girl was doing at a PG-13 movie. I also had trouble understanding what a 6-year-old girl was doing out at midnight. Aside from what happened at the theater that night, there are two things that are important to note. The first has to do with what kinds of movies are appropriate for children. G rated movies are made for 6-year-old children. Some children should be able to watch PG movies. However, there is not much of a reason to take a 6-year-old to see a PG-13 movie. There is even less reason to take a 6-year-old to see a movie that you know in advance has that rating because of violence. If someone would ask my advice about taking their 6-year-old child to see the new Batman movie, I would not have to think very hard about an answer. The answer is clearly "no." The other issue has to do with taking children to a midnight show of a two and a half hour movie. Some children fall asleep late at night. However, 3 a.m. is not late at night. It is early in the morning and no child should be kept up that late. One wonders what could be the reason for bringing a young child to a movie that they should not see at a time when they should not be up. Perhaps the plan was to take the child to an earlier show. Many theaters were sold out for earlier shows. The midnight show might have been the only one they could get tickets for. The solution in this case was simple. Wait for another day to see the movie. Alternatively, get a babysitter. Given the child's age, the babysitter should have been the plan from the outset. Perhaps the parents could not afford a babysitter. The solution is again simple. If you could afford tickets to the movie, you could afford to hire a babysitter. If you could not afford to do both, then you need to wait until you could do so. Or else you could wait for the movie to come out on DVD. The cost of a DVD is about the same as the cost of two people going to the movie. There are two lessons to be learned here. The first is that young children do not belong in the movie theater when a movie is not appropriate for them to see. The second is that bringing a child to the movie theater is not a way to avoid paying a babysitter. The only time a child should be in the theater is if they are there to see a movie themselves. The only movie that they should be seeing is one that is appropriate for them to see. We all learn lessons when a tragedy occurs. Sometimes the lessons are simple. We need to be thinking about what we are doing when we take our children to a movie theater. It is as complex as most of the decisions we make as parents.

Autism Delaware names winners Each year, Autism Delaware supports aspiring paraprofessionals in the autism field with the Para-to-Educator Stipend. The $1,000 award is available to an eligible paraprofessional who completed his or her education in the past year to become a teacher of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). This year's stipend winners are Matthew Hamilton, of Wilmington; Lindsay Smith, of Middletown; and Chrystyna Vent, of Milton. Wilmington-resident Matthew Hamilton who has a master's degree in special education was hired by the Delaware Autism Program (DAP) in 2011. "Working with students with autism provides a great motivation to be creative," added Hamilton, "and enhances my efforts to be an effective educator." Middletown-resident Lindsay Smith is employed as a special education teacher for DAP. A para-educator since 1994 for the Sussex Consortium (DAP in Sussex County), Milton-resident Chrystyna Vent acquired a teaching degree in special education from Wilmington University, which led to a teaching position back with the Cape Henlopen special-education program in 2011. In addition to teaching, Vent is a respite provider at the consortium and a volunteer with Special Olympics and the Autism Delaware Walk for Autism. To learn more about Autism Delaware stipends, visit

Department schedules hearings The Delaware Children's Department will hold three public hearings next month to gather public comment on regulations under Governor Markell's Executive Order 36, which is a mechanism to review existing regulations of all State agencies and possibly eliminate those that are outdated, inconsistent, or that no longer serve their purpose. A hearing will be held in Sussex County on Tuesday, Aug. 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the University of Delaware's Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Hwy., Georgetown. Public comments will also be accepted through Oct. 1, by visiting and clicking on the 'Executive Order 36, Review of Agency Regulations' on the front page. After the formal comment period, the Children's Department will consider the input received and streamline or change regulations accordingly. A report of comments received and changes to any regulations will be sent to the Governor and to the General Assembly in June 2013. To read the full text of Governor Markell's Executive Order 36, visit The Delaware Children's Department provides services to children who have been abused, neglected, abandoned, dependent, or have behavioral health or substance abuse problems, and/or have been adjudicated delinquent by the Courts. For more information, visit or

Milford Memorial hosts open house Bayhealth Milford Memorial will host an open house for Women's and Children's Services on Sunday, Aug. 19 from 2 to 4 p.m. Located on the fourth floor of Milford Memorial Hospital, Women's and Children's Services is a Birth Inn & Beyond family center, providing an enriching birthing experience with technologically advanced services. Come for a tour of the unique facility, where Bayhealth offers the convenience of giving birth and recovering in the same private room - known as a Labor, Deliver, Recover and Post-Partum (LDRP) Suite. For more information, call 430-5739. Learn more about Women's and Children's Services by visiting

Cancer treatment device upgraded For patients with cancer, a linear accelerator is most commonly used for external beam radiation treatments. The device delivers high-energy x-rays to an area of cancer cells while sparing the surrounding normal tissue. At Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, the linear accelerator has been upgraded to include dynamic targeting image-guided radiation therapy. The upgrade provides oncologists high-resolution, three-dimensional images to pinpoint tumor sites, adjust patient positioning when necessary, and complete a treatment. This technology assists in completing a more comprehensive treatment plan and in the reduction of harm to nearby healthy tissue. Another part of the upgrade includes the Aria Electronic Medical Record. Along with utilizing the hospital's current electronic medical record system, oncology patients at Nanticoke will benefit from the addition of electronic medical records specific to the care and treatment of the oncology patient. For more information, call Nanticoke Cancer Care Services at 628-6344.

ALA hosts skydiving fundraiser Take a leap to make the air cleaner and healthier. The American Lung Association in Delaware is sponsoring the Third Annual "Fighting for Air at All Extremes," a skydiving fundraiser. The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7 and Saturday, Sept. 8 at Skydive Delmarva on 32524 Aero Dr., Rt. 24 West, Laurel. Lung disease is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. According to the Lung Association's State of the Air 2012, more than 140,000 Delawareans suffer from asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema - all forms of lung disease. The ALA-DE hopes to raise $40,000 to support lung health research, education and advocacy efforts. Participants of Fighting for Air at All Extremes can join the jump as an individual, team, volunteer or sponsor. There is a registration fee of $25 per participant. All skydivers must be 18 or older. A fundraising minimum of $300 is required to receive a tandem jump. All fundraisers will receive gift bags and t-shirts. The top fundraiser will take home a special prize and all participants who raise $500 or more will be entered into a raffle for some great prizes. To register, contact Kelli Burris at 302-737-6414, ext. 14 or at or visit

BIAD hosts annual Crab Feast The Brain Injury Association of Delaware (BIAD) is hosting its fifth annual Crab Feast Fundraiser on Saturday, Aug. 11 from 4 to 8 p.m. The menu includes all you can eat crabs, corn on the cob, chicken tenders, french fries, and non-alcoholic beverages. A cash bar will be available and benefits the Leipsic Fire Company. Cost is $32 per person, $8 for kids ages 5 to 12 and free for kids under 5. The event will also feature an "Extreme Bake Sale." There will also be a 50/50, door prizes, and merchandise raffle. Buy tickets online at or call 1-800-411-0505 for more information.

Free to Breathe Delmarva run/walk Register today for the third annual Free to Breathe Delmarva 5K Run/Walk, 1 Mile Walk and Kids' Dash, a fun event for the entire family that brings the community together to inspire hope and create change for everyone impacted by lung cancer. The event will be held on Sunday morning, August 12 at Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes. Online registration ends Aug. 8. All proceeds support the National Lung Cancer Partnership's vital research, education and awareness programs. For more information, to register or donate, visit Breast cancer support group Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc. (DBCC) has expanded its Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey, a program for women newly-diagnosed with breast cancer, by partnering with Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center in Seaford. The free, monthly program is offered at the Cancer Center located at 801 Middleford Road, Seaford, the third Thursday of each month from 3 to 4 p.m. To learn more, call Lois Wilkinson at 672-6435. Registration is required and light refreshments and small gifts are provided.

HIV/AIDS Support Group A new support group for HIV/AIDS will meet every other Wednesday, at 7 p.m., in the Branford Lounge at Epworth United Methodist Church at 19285 Holland Glade Rd., Rehoboth Beach. The group is sponsored by Epworth UMC, CAMP Rehoboth, the AIDs Delaware and Delaware HIV Consortium. For more information, contact David at

NMH offers CPR classes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will offer community CPR classes to anyone interested in learning CPR at the Nanticoke Training Center located on Water Street in Seaford. Participants will learn how to perform the basic skills of CPR on adults, children, and infants and how to help an adult, child, or infant who is choking and use of the AED. This classroom-based, video, and instructor-led CPR course offers families, friends, and community members the opportunity to learn CPR and need a course completion card. Classes are open to participants ages 12 and up. This program is specifically designed for those who prefer to learn in a group environment with feedback from an instructor. The target audience is those who have a duty to respond to a cardiac emergency. Cost is $40. Payment and registration is required by no later than five business days prior to the class. Late registrations may be accepted if seating is available. To register and to obtain a listing of class dates/times, contact the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Training Center office at 629-6611, ext. 8919. Pre-registration is required.

Parkinson's Support Group A Parkinson's Support Group is being held in Seaford on the third Monday of each month from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Nanticoke Senior Center. The group focuses on educating members about Parkinson's through guest speakers and small group discussions. Persons with other movement disorders are welcome to join the group as much of what is discussed is not limited to Parkinson's. The value of exercise is continually stressed and an exercise class for the group will be started in the near future. New members are encouraged to attend. Reservations or advance notification is not required. For more information, call Dennis Leebel at 302-644-3465.