Child in the car

by Hints with Heloise

Dear Readers: How can people forget their child in the back seat of a car? Seems impossible, but it can happen. The child falls asleep on a long ride into work, minds wander, and the child gets left in the car. It is still hot out. What are some hints to help you not forget your child in the car?

• Put the child's toy, blanket or bottle in the front seat.

• Leave your bag, phone or briefcase in the back seat.

• Practice this mantra: "Look before you lock."

• Position the car seat in the middle of the back seat, instead of on one side. You can see the child better.

Readers, if you are not following your usual routine, pay extra attention to your actions and surroundings, and be sure to educate everyone who cares for your kids about the danger of hot car deaths. - Heloise

Calling out this scam

Dear Readers: Today's SOUND OFF is about a new scam - a serious attempt to get money from parents:

"Dear Heloise: A man phoned my husband and said my husband's son, Kelly, was in jail in another country because of a car accident in which his son was critically injured. His injuries included a 'broken eye, broken left arm and face abrasions.' Also, his friend, who was a passenger in the car, was dead. Since Kelly was impaired at the time of the accident, he would not be released from jail to return to the U.S. until his medical bills were paid. The police were holding his passport and cellphone.We were instructed to go to our bank and get $780 in cash, and were told where to send it. "Suspecting a scam, I phoned our son's cellphone and talked to him. He was in Dallas! When we told the man on the phone that we were talking to our son and knew he was a scammer, the man hung up!" - Richard and Charlotte S. in San Antonio

Richard and Charlotte, you did the right thing by calling your son before sending any money. This is actually an old scam that has been revived to steal money from caring parents. Never believe a stranger who calls out of the blue demanding money for the release of a loved one without first calling that loved one or alerting the police. - Heloise

FAST FACTS Dear Readers: Here are some other uses for a potato masher: • Make designs on peanut butter cookies.

• Break up feta cheese.

• Crush fruit for jams and jellies.

• Mash eggs for deviled eggs.

• Break up ground beef or sausage.

- Heloise


Dear Heloise: My neighbor has cats and doesn't want to get them fixed, so there are kittens born. I never had any dogs or cats, but this mother cat came under my little barn and stayed there, giving birth. I called my neighbor and told her that her cat was here, but she didn't take any responsibility to come get the mother and kittens. What should I do? I put a radio inside the barn, hoping they would leave. They're still there. I never fed them, so I don't know how that mother cat can feed those kittens. - A Reader, Fort Wayne, Ind.

First, call 311 and ask who you should report this to, and you can file a report citing animal abuse, which this may be because your neighbor isn't taking care of her pets. If the pets aren't neutered or spayed, then chances are they aren't vaccinated or licensed, either. - Heloise


Dear Heloise: How do I clean the surface of a nonstick clothes iron? - Connie B., Elizabeth City, N.C.

Connie, wipe off the bottom of the iron with a clean, wet cloth, and dry it well. Turn the iron on low and place a piece of waxed paper on the ironing board. Run the iron over the waxed paper several times. Then run the iron over an old towel or cloth to remove the wax. Never use steel wool. - Heloise

Liable on delivery?

Dear Heloise: I buy a lot of merchandise from one of the major E-COMMERCE platforms. The company delivers the item, leaves it on my stoop while I'm at work, takes a picture of it and emails me the picture to show that it has been delivered. Does this release the company from liability if the package gets stolen before I get home? - Margaret W. in Pennsylvania

Margaret, don't worry. If you get home and find your package is not there, call the company, which will help you - it wants you to be satisfied. However, if a pattern develops where packages are constantly missing, the company may require an alternate delivery plan/location.

- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I have trouble fastening my necklaces, so my granddaughter put magnetic clasps on my necklaces. Now I get them on with no trouble. I think all jewelers should put magnetic clasps on their necklaces - it's so helpful. - Eleanor T., Omaha, Neb.

Great! Readers, magnetic jewelry is handy, but there may be reasons why magnets are not widely used on jewelry. People with pacemakers should not use magnetic jewelry. It can interfere with the performance of the unit. Also, if you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about magnetic jewelry. Kids can be fascinated by magnets, but a magnet can come out of its housing, and ingesting a magnet is dangerous. Magnets around credit cards? The jury is out; keep them separate to be safe.

- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Some of us don't want, don't have and don't need apps on our cellphones. I know - I'm obsolete, retired, out of touch. I use a landline phone, write real letters, use U.S. mail, read newspapers and books, listen to real AM/FM radio, paint and draw, use a bicycle, take the bus, fly kites and talk face to face with humans.

- A Reader in Los Angeles

I'm with you. For all of its conveniences, we can't let technology completely take over our lives! - Heloise


Dear Heloise: I took an unused cosmetic bag and filled it with a travel sewing kit, eyeglass repair kit, various sizes of safety pins, paper clips, rubber bands, binder clips, clothespins and a few adhesive strips. I use it for grab-and-go traveling. Comes in handy!

- Dorothy C., Manchester, N.H.

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column. (c)2019 by King Features Syndicate Inc.