DEAR ABBY: I am a plastic surgeon and a very busy one, but I am not too busy to write this letter asking you to PLEASE implore parents (especially mothers) to NEVER -– and I repeat, NEVER -– allow their children to stand up in either the front or back of an automobile while it is in motion.
These last few weeks I have been called upon to make some heartbreaking repairs on some very beautiful little faces that had been pitifully mutilated from accidents that came about in just this way. All it takes is one abrupt stop for a youngster's face to meet a windshield, dashboard or the back of the front seat with such force as to break face bones, knock out teeth and cause disfiguring injuries.
Today I nearly wept while I worked with an eye surgeon for nearly two hours in a vain effort to save the eye of a little boy who had been standing in the back of his mother's car when she slammed on her brakes. (The child's eye was gouged out as he struck the ashtray.) If you will print this, I'll be most grateful. -– AN M.D. IN L.A.
DEAR L.A.M.D.: It's appalling that a child should be maimed for life because of the carelessness of his or her parent. I hope your warning will remind parents of the importance of buckling up their children before putting a key in the ignition.