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DEAR ABBY: Yesterday I saw a little boy left alone in a parked car. The windows were rolled down about 2 inches. The child, probably 1 year old, was strapped in a child seat in the back of the vehicle. It was a hot day and the car was sitting in the sun.

I was going into the library, so I hoped that the parent would only be gone long enough to return a book. However, when I came out, the child was still there. I got into my car and was about to call the police, but before I did, the parent came out and drove away. I did jot down the license number.

I couldn't get the little boy out of my mind, so I phoned to report the incident to the police this afternoon. Perhaps it will keep that parent from doing it again. I know I should have taken action the moment I saw the child, and I feel guilty that I did not.

Abby, please remind your readers that children should NEVER be left alone in a car. Anyone who sees a child in an unattended car should phone the police immediately. I'm glad the baby didn't die because of my inaction. -- ILLINOIS PARENT

DEAR ILLINOIS PARENT: Thank you for a timely reminder. Health experts warn that on a breezy day with the temperature only in the low 70s, the interior of a closed automobile can heat up to 125 degrees in 15 minutes. Even with the window cracked, a child could dehydrate within minutes -- with deadly results. And the same goes for pets.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 17-year-old boy with a big problem. There's this girl, "Ashley," I really care about. But I don't know how to tell her. I took her to the junior prom and afterward we spent most of the night together -- talking.

That night I realized how much Ashley and I have in common and how much I care for her. The trouble is, it's summer vacation, and it seems like she's always too busy to go out with me, or she already has plans.

We talk almost every day, but I need to see her and be with her. Abby, I know no one is perfect, but Ashley is the closest thing to it.

Yesterday I broke down and cried because I realized how much I want her to be mine. Can you please tell me what to do -- and how to tell her my feelings? I ache inside. -- SMITTEN IN OHIO

DEAR SMITTEN: Look at the bright side:

(1) Ashley obviously likes you. The two of you talk on the phone nearly every day. Tell her you really like her. It's a compliment and it's the truth.

(2) You shared a wonderful night at the prom. It is something the two of you will never forget.

Perhaps this will have to do for now. Summers fly by quickly, and soon you will have more school events to share. In the meantime, make plans with other friends and stay active. It will keep you from dwelling on the fact that you're not with Ashley as much as you'd like to be.

DEAR ABBY: Your recent letter regarding tattoos reminded me of an incident I'd like to share. Last year I was in a nail salon in Hawaii, waiting for a manicure and a pedicure. Waiting with me were two ladies well into their 60s.

A girl of about 20 strolled in and sat down across the room from us. She was wearing a low-cut top, so we couldn't help but notice a prominent rose tattoo high on her breast.

One of the women leaned over to the rest of us and whispered, "Little does she know that when she's in her 50s, she'll have a long-stemmed rose!" -- KATHLEEN IN WASHINGTON STATE

DEAR KATHLEEN: If you didn't laugh out loud, you deserve a bouquet of roses.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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