When Azurae Cruz burned her hand on a hot oven door a few days before her first birthday, her parents Sarah and Christopher Cruz, of Pawtucket were upset enough by the incident to begin thinking what they could do to help prevent such injuries to other children.
That was three years ago, and thankfully, their daughter’s burn has healed. However, the episode was not forgotten. In fact, it has served as the impetus for the couple to create and self-publish a storybook about burn injury prevention.
Sarah Cruz, a stay at home mom, with two children, is a registered nurse. Her background, equips her, she feels, to offer some insight about the subject of burn injuries.
Her husband, Chris, is a self-employed computer consultant, graphic artist, and professional musician. Together, they established Little Boots Publishing in January and their first book is the one inspired by Azurae’s burn three years ago. They call it Bernie Burn, and it just became available.
Recently, Sarah visited the North Foster Daycare to share it with the children there. It was one of her first readings of the book to its intended audience, preschoolers.
Designed for children ages six months to four years of age, as well as their parents and caregivers, Bernie Burn is, notes Sarah, an introduction to burn prevention.
Most scald and contact burns are preventable, according to the authors. Children under the age of four are especially vulnerable to burn injuries around the house, they point out.
However, at around age 10-12 months, they note, babies begin to discover that words have meaning and have collected enough information to understand about 50 words.
Bernie Burn tells the story of a baby who discovers all the places that burns can “hide” only to strike with little warning unless the baby is made aware.
The back of the book contains a number of coloring pages, which are perforated so children can detach them and keep them. They reiterate the lessons taught by the book.
During her visit to North Foster Daycare Center, Sarah brought a variety of household items with her including a cast iron radiator, a crock-pot, a toaster, a coffee pot, an iron, a curling iron, a lamp, and so forth. She showed the children how each might be a source of injury.
She says that the items allowed the youngsters to tell their own stories of “boo-boos” they had received from similar objects.
Sarah also noted that by the end of her presentation some of the young children had already learned from the book and recited a rhyming catch phrase which is intended to help children be aware of burn dangers.