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by Abigail Van Buren

Girl Wants to Date Younger Boy but Fears What Others May Say

DEAR ABBY: My mother-in-law baby-sits my 2-year-old son once a week. She is a chain-smoker, smoking one cigarette after another while our son is there. When he returns home, he is saturated in smoke, and I have to bathe him immediately and wash his clothes. He has complained twice that his eyes hurt. For obvious reasons, I do not want him around all that smoke.

Unfortunately, in my husband's eyes, his mother can do no wrong. Abby, is there anything I can do? -- HATES TOBACCO IN TENNESSEE

DEAR HATES TOBACCO: Talk to your son's pediatrician and ask him to schedule an appointment that includes your husband.

Secondhand smoke IS dangerous for babies and small children, and your husband should be made aware of the risk that his son is facing at the home of his chain-smoking -- and obviously addicted -- grandmother.