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Mishap Leads Couple To Publish Children’s Book

By Joel Furfari, Times Staff Reporter

PAWTUCKET- Three years ago, just days before her first birthday, Azurae Cruz reached out and touched a hot oven door at her Pawtucket home.

“It was a very traumatic moment,” Azurae’s mother, Sarah Cruz said.

The heat gave the girl a second-degree burn – one that scared Cruz, who is a registered nurse.

“A baby’s skin is very sensitive, so it was a very serious accident,” she said.

After seeing her daughter’s burn, Sarah and her husband Christopher decided to write a children’s book that educated children and adults in burn prevention.

The Cruzes recently self-published their book, “Bernie Burn,” and hope to use the book teach people about how to prevent accidents like Azurae’s.

“We’re hoping to prevent other children and parents from going through the same traumatic experience that we did - because it really was traumatic,” Sarah Cruz said.

The couple formed their own publishing company, Little Boots Publishing, and set out to teach people how to prevent early childhood burns.

“We trademarked the character and it wasn’t until 2003 that I completed the illustrations,” Cruz said. “My husband actually put the book together and then we found a printer and had it printed up.”

The story’s main character, Baby Rae, accidentally touches a character named “Bernie Burn” that resembles a bright red flame.

Sarah Cruz said even many caregivers don’t think to take preventative steps against such accidents.

“One thing I found during my research is that most scald and contact burns are preventable,” she said.

A section at the back of the book lists steps that adults can take to make their children safer.  It encourages caregivers to create a “safe area” in the kitchen for young children that is away from heating elements.  The book also recommends removing tablecloths when infants are in the home and turning down water heaters slightly.

The book also includes a first-aid guide for treating burns. 

While the Cruzes worked on the book, Sarah consulted with pediatricians and surgeons around the country.

“I talked to a lot of professionals in the burn prevention field, and along the way I discovered that there really isn’t a lot literature out there for the children,” she said.  “Most of it is geared toward the caregivers.”

Cruz said the book is written for children between the ages of six months and 4 years old.

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