Dear Abby: As a practicing allergist, I would like to make parents, hosts and hostesses for holiday and birthday parties aware that they should be extremely careful with children who are allergic to various foods.

I once had a young boy as a patient who was severely allergic to peanuts. He and his mother regarded this with extreme caution, but once, while attending a birthday party, his allergy proved fatal.His mother had informed the hostess about "Billy's" allergy and strictly ordered that he not eat anything containing peanuts. The hostess agreed not to feed Billy any such food. Unfortunately, other ladies were helping with the party. One handed out homemade peanut-butter cookies and insisted Billy try one. He tried to refuse, but she insisted. Less than 30 minutes later, Billy was dead.

I want to use this horribly sad incident to warn anyone who is helping with children's activities to please be cautious with your own children as well as others'. Anyone who hands out treats to children, please be aware of the dangers involved. Make certain that the children you serve are not allergic to any foods so they don't end up like Billy.

- Claude A. Frazier, M.D.,

Asheville, N.C.

Dear Dr. Frazier: Thank you for a warning that applies all year around. I'm printing your letter in the hope that once alerted, other parents can prevent a similar tragedy.

Dear Abby: I am in a bit of a dilemma and need your advice.

My husband and I have been happily married for 10 years. I am 30 and my husband is 38, and we have three beautiful, healthy children.

I have agreed to become a surrogate mother for a married woman who has unsuccessfully tried to have a baby for 10 years. I have discussed this with my husband, and he is agreeable. (The egg and sperm will be the other couple's - they are just using my body as an incubator.)

I will be paid $5,000 when my pregnancy is confirmed, and $5,000 after the baby is born. All my pregnancies and deliveries have been relatively easy.

When I told my mother about this, she said, "Have you lost your mind? If you go through with this, I don't want to see you in that condition."

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I told her she could live her own life, and let me live mine.

Abby, your column isn't long enough to describe the emotional abuse my mother has put me through since all this started. What is your advice?

- No Name or Town, Please

Dear No Name: I think the advice you gave your mother - to live her own life and let you live yours - was sensible and to the point. Surrogate motherhood is not about renting one's womb; it's about helping a woman fulfill her dream of motherhood.

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