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Section: health-and-wellness, children

Dear Ann Landers,
Too many people think it's OK to leave a child unattended in an automobile while they go into a gas station or post office for "just a minute." Whenever I am tempted to do this, I remember the day I brought my first-born child home from the hospital. My mother said, "Don't ever leave your child in your car anywhere you wouldn't leave $1 million cash on the seat." If you run this in your column, Ann, please use my name. It would be a wonderful tribute to my very wise mother, who passed away two years ago this Christmas. -- Vicki Villegas Westfall, Valley Springs, Calif.

Dear Vicki,
Here is your letter and a very good one at that, I might add. It takes only a second to snatch a child. Your mother gave you excellent advice. I hope every mother who reads this will pay attention to her wise counsel.

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A Note from Margo:
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!

Reader Comment
even in the winter on a bright sunny day, in the right circumstances, the temperature in a vehicle can escalate high enough to affect a small child or pet

Totsybug's Comment
In addition, it doesn't take long for the temperature in a vehicle to become fatal to young children and pets who are not able to roll down a window or open a door!

A parent's Comment
Several years ago I was picking up my 4 year old daughter from day care. I parked the car, turned it off, took the keys with me. I was in the building for maybe 6/7 minutes. When my daughter and I returned to the car the steering column had ignited and was on fire - in a matter of minutes my car was engulfed with black smoke - cause - a faulty wiring system - something to think about - If there had been an infant or toddler in the car - strapped it their car seat - they would not have survived

Reader Comment
I don't believe the penalties are steep enough for idiots who leave an infant or a child in a car seat to just take care of something "quick". If their stupidity results in the death of the infant/child, it must be considered first degree murder and the perpetrator convicted as such!

Bill's Comment
What if something happened to you while away from the car? You might be rendered unable to communicate, and your child would be overlooked. There's no justification for ever leaving an unattended child in a car.
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:

Dear Readers,
, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat."
-Ann Landers