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A reel way to save our bacon

Ignorance is bliss, but that's no excuse for poor hygiene. That is the philosophy behind a three-minute video about swine flu.

The online animated clip, which features a cartoon character called Tim and Moby, a robot from outer space, is intended to give children as young as five an idea of what swine flu is and how to avoid it.

The video, made by BrainPOP, educational film-makers, aims to inform youngsters without scaring them. It admits that the virus "can be dangerous, even deadly", before outlining all the reasons "not to panic" - a tall order, perhaps, given that many adults are keeping far from calm.

The film is based on government guidelines and emphasises hygiene. It also tackles some common myths - not least the bacon scare.

The film-makers say the video answers children's questions and could be ideal for teachers looking to give pupils a sober response to the outbreak.

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