Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I just read the letter from "No More Noxious Ads." I, too, didn't dare to bring some magazines into the house because the perfume was so strong. Then I found out my favorite subscriptions could be sent to me scent-free. I just called 1-800-374-4545 for Ladies Home Journal and 1-800-888-7788 for Good Housekeeping and asked to be put on the "scent-free" list. Other magazines probably offer the same service and most have 800-numbers. -- PAT KELCH, JOELTON, TENN.

DEAR PAT: You're right. Many readers wrote to say that having one's name added to the "scent-free" list is as easy as calling the publisher and requesting it. The toll-free number is usually included along with the publisher's address inside the magazine. Look for the masthead, the section that lists the publisher, editors and other key personnel.

DEAR ABBY: Several nights ago, I was awakened by our 7-month-old Caroline. She has had trouble sleeping lately because of teething pain. Tired and frustrated, I finally laid her in bed between my husband and me, and we all fell back to sleep.

Our mattress had become separated from the headboard, leaving a big gap, large enough for our baby's head to slip through. When we awakened, she was lying on her back with her head hanging backward, pinned between the headboard and mattress. Her muffled cries for help had been barely audible, but miraculously we were able to wake up and save her.

Caroline is our third baby, and we thought we knew all there is to know about safety with children. I would strongly advise parents never to let their infant sleep with them. -- SHAKEN IN SIMPSONVILLE, S.C.

DEAR SHAKEN: Thank you for writing to warn all parents of a freak accident that could result in the loss of their precious infant.

DEAR ABBY: May I share the following with "R.H.G. in Elk Grove, Wis."? She's the lady whose mother refused to wear a hearing aid because she thought it would make her look old.

At age 50 I had a pacemaker installed. One morning after the surgery, I told a co-worker that I was feeling old. She just smiled and said she wanted to introduce me to someone.

The next day she brought in her adorable 4-year-old nephew and said, "Cody, show her your pacemaker." The boy promptly lifted his T-shirt and there was the telltale bulge of a pacemaker in his little abdomen. Then she added, "When he reaches adolescence he will get one over his heart where yours is."

Abby, after seeing that child with a pacemaker, I suddenly didn't feel old any more.

"R.H.G." needs to introduce her mother to some young person who wears a hearing aid. -- MARY ANN SUTTER, DE SOTO, TEXAS

CONFIDENTIAL TO "BURNED UP" IN MILWAUKEE: Please reconsider. Do not call your sister-in-law on the telephone and tell her off. Instead, sit down and write her a letter telling her exactly what you think of her -- which isn't very flattering.

It's a lot easier to tear up something you wrote than to take back what you said.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600