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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!
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:

Dear Readers,
, My x-girlfriend who lived with my son and I for 16 years died of cancer. Prior before we knew she had cancer-she moved out because of an addiction problem. We did stay very close before she died. Her x-husband an attorney took over her finances and the burial arrangements. I being financially set was okay with that, 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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"Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them."
-Ann Landers