Can I pump your gas, Mom?

Dear Heloise: Is there a law against a young child pumping gas at the self-service island? — A Reader in Pennsylvania

There’s no law against it, but it’s not a good idea. Having a child “help” by pumping gas can cause a multitude of problems. Kids’ lungs aren’t fully developed, and breathing gas fumes can cause damage to their lungs and eyes.

Also, children’s hand-eye coordination is not advanced; splashing is almost guaranteed. What’s a good age to start pumping gas? When you get your learner’s permit.

Other safety hints:

* It IS against the law to pump gas into an unapproved container.

* Turn off your engine while pumping gas.

* Obviously, no smoking.

* Don’t walk away from your vehicle while filling your car.

— Heloise

Dear Heloise: When I lend something to a friend, I take a picture of it and caption it with the name of who has it. I might sound like a Grinch, but I get my stuff back! — Gary in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Nothing wrong with keeping up with who’s got what! — Heloise

Dear Heloise: Many stores keep their shopping carts in the hot sun. Driving through a lot one day, I was horrified to see an adult place a baby with nothing on her legs in a cart.

My hint: Check the temperature of the seat of shopping carts before placing a child in it, lest the child get burned, especially if the child’s legs are bare. Or bring something to pad the seat, even for older children. — Gloria P., Riverside, Calif.