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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: In a recent column, "S.O.S. (Sleepless Over Safety)" expressed concern that her mother-in-law had little knowledge of child safety, and she was fearful of leaving her 2-year-old twins in her care.

You advised "S.O.S." to seek safety training for her mother-in-law and mentioned several sources. I would like to add another -- the American Heart Association.

AHA offers a Pediatric Basic Life Support course. It is a combination of child and infant safety, CPR and obstructed airway procedures. In a few hours, anyone can learn to handle a pediatric emergency.

I know a new mother who had just finished the course and excitedly told both sets of grandparents about it. Looking forward to caring for their new grandchild, all four enrolled in the next class. As soon as they had completed the course, the grandparents gave the new mom and dad their first (worry-free) night without the baby.

If your readers call 1-800-242-8721, they will be routed to an American Heart Association division office where trained staff can offer information on training availability, as well as on heart disease and strokes. We spend no money on advertising, so a mention in your column will help spread the word. -- PAUL GIGUERE, AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION, MANCHESTER, CONN.

DEAR MR. GIGUERE: I'm happy to mention such a worthwhile organization. Parents, grandparents and anyone involved in child care should take note. AHA also urges persons at high risk for heart attacks and their spouses to learn CPR. It can mean the difference between life and death.

DEAR ABBY: I just returned from the post office after mailing a letter to my aunt in New Zealand. While there, I thanked the two women who work for the postal system. I told them that it never ceases to amaze me how a letter can get across this vast country of ours in one or two days. I thanked them for a postal service that is unmatched by any country in the world. I cannot get letters to France in a timely manner. I pray over letters to Milan, Italy, and Cairo, Egypt.

Most Americans have no idea what it's like to deal with a postal service that is slow and unpredictable. Excuses can be invented to confiscate one's mail in another country -- or you may get your mail, but with a few items missing.

Everyone in the U.S.A. should thank our hard workers for doing a grand job. In fact, I think we should designate the day after Christmas as "Thank Your Postal Worker Day."

These men and women work and move like highly trained soldiers in combat. So please be nice to them and say, "Thank you for a job well done." Because it is my real name, you may sign me ... LIGHTFOOT IN SAN DIEGO

DEAR LIGHTFOOT: Speaking as one who receives bushels of mail daily -- I couldn't agree more!

For Abby's favorite family recipes, send a long, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet No. 1, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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