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.


© 2019 Little Boots Publishing