We’re true believers that sometimes things happen for a reason. Looking back, we never imagined that our daughter’s preventable accident would inspire us to write and illustrate a storybook, and go so far as to establish our own publishing company. Five years later…here we are, and we’re just getting started!
Having knowledge of the many dangers that could harm children, a lot of parents and caregivers go to great lengths to ensure that they are safe and feel safe. Still, in spite of their efforts, sometimes accidents can and do happen.
Some things in a child’s life cannot be controlled or prevented; like certain childhood illnesses, temper tantrums, those terrible tears, and, of course, their unpredictable behavior.
…But some things are preventable like burn injuries. *Most scald and contact burns are preventable. Each year 250, 000 children in the U.S. are seriously burned, 200,000 of them by contact with hot substances and objects. Children under the age of 4 are especially vulnerable to burn injuries around the house.
Through our own personal experience, we’ve learned that it’s never too early to begin protecting your child in the home and teaching them about burn injury prevention.
Five years ago, just a few days before her first birthday, our daughter became a burn injury statistic. Although it didn’t seem like it at the time, we now realize how very fortunate and blessed we were that it was “only” a very painful second-degree burn that has since healed.
A few months after the accident, I began researching burn injuries, and was amazed to discover that statistically, there is a tremendous ongoing need for early burn injury prevention education.
With hopes of possibly preventing other children from the trauma of being seriously burned, my husband, Chris, and I wrote a story about burn injury prevention and safety called Bernie Burn.
Bernie Burn introduces infants, toddlers, and preschoolers to burn injury prevention, and offers specific safety solutions to parents and caregivers. The Bernie Burn character represents “danger” and is meant to remind children and their caregivers of some of the dangerous areas that may exist in the home.
Initially, we had submitted our story in manuscript form to some well-known traditional publishers for consideration. After waiting for what seemed to be an eternity we finally received our responses informing us that….although they liked the story very much, they did not know how to market the book.
Believing that we have an important message to share and a significant contribution to offer in the fight against childhood burn injuries, with little more than our story, combined talents we established Little Boots Publishing in January 2004.
As a new small business owner, we’ve quickly learned that sacrifice, dedication, skill, and perseverance are essential to be successful …and a little luck goes a long way.
We’ve accepted some of the “realities” to owning our own business like taking a large financial risk, working long hours, fewer opportunities to do other things we enjoy.
For us, the benefits clearly outweigh the “realities”, like personal satisfaction, working in a field we truly enjoy, having complete creative freedom, being our own boss, and making decisions that are crucial to our business’ success or failure. But more importantly, working directly with our clients, and having an opportunity to possibly make a difference in the community and the lives of others.
Our personal philosophy is...if we can help prevent even one child from being burned then all our efforts are worth while.
One of the greatest gifts a parent or caregiver can give to a child is a safe environment. We’re hoping parents will want to share the Bernie Burn storybook with their children, grandparents will want to share it with their grandchildren, and caregivers and organizations will want to share it with the children they care for. We are currently offering discounted pricing to ALL preschools and to organizations wishing to purchase large quantities.
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, Bernie Burn-safe day!
Sarah Cruz, R.N.