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Dear Abby: I have been a pediatric nurse for 13 years. I love children and most aspects of my job. The hardest part is when I draw blood, start IVs, give injections or perform other painful procedures on my patients. I work very hard to explain things fully at the child's level of understanding. I'm honest about the pain and always assure them that it's not because they did anything wrong.

Yesterday I witnessed an incident in the waiting room that is all too typical. A giggling 2-year-old ran down the hall away from her father. He chased after her, picked her up (none too gently) and said in an irritated voice, "If you don't behave, I'll have the doctor give you a shot!" A frightened look came over the little girl's face, and she began to squirm and cry.Abby, please advise your readers with young children never to use threats of shots as a form of discipline. It causes children to fear every visit to the doctor. It is also unfair to the health-care professionals who try so hard to provide quality care in as positive an atmosphere as possible.

- Pediatric Nurse

in San Francisco

Dear Nurse: Thank you for reminding parents never to make a doctor or nurse an "enemy" to be feared. That brings to mind a letter I ran several years ago, which was written by a policeman. Read on:

Dear Abby: I am a uniformed police officer with the Indianapolis Police Department, and you would be amazed at the number of people who threaten their children with what a policeman will do to them if they don't behave.

On one occasion, I was having lunch at a snack bar when a young mother pointed her finger at me and loudly told her child, "If you don't eat your vegetables, I'm going to have that policeman arrest you and take you to jail!"

Abby, I am sick and tired of that line. Just the other day, I was at a firehouse when the firemen were showing off a fire truck to a small boy. I asked the boy's mother if perhaps her son would like to see a police car. I was rewarded with a tongue-lashing about how intimidated children were of the police.

She ended her tirade with, "I don't want my son to have anything to do with the police!" I walked away with a lump in my throat.

- Officer Bill Weber,


Dear Officer Bill: Perhaps the young mother had a bad experience with a police officer. However, most people know that the majority of police officers are "good guys." They daily risk life and limb protecting law-abiding citizens.

Dear Abby: Being a dedicated reader of your column, I have read many letters about odd names. Here's another one - mine.

I have been "Cool" all my life. I was "Cool" before it was "cool" to be "Cool."

I grew up in a "Cool" family. My father, mother, sister and brother were all "Cool."

I was a "Cool-Smith" for 43 years. Now I am a "Cool-Figge."

- Iris L. Cool,

A 65-Year-Old Cool Kid,

Nuevo, Calif.

For Abby's favorite family recipes, send a long, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet No. 1, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)