Daughter’s Accident Turns Nurse Into Author, Activist
Health and Fitness Monthly
May 30, 2004
PAWTUCKET—When Sarah Cruz’s baby burned her
hand on a hot oven door, Cruz leapt into action, as most parents do. The
registered nurse called 911 and tried to run the hysterical girl’s
hand under cold water.
The second-degree burn, which happened when 1-year-old Azurae leaned against
the stove as she tried to stand up, healed completely.
But Cruz wasn’t finished leaping into action. A few months after the
accident, she wrote a book about scalding and contact burns for parents to
read to toddlers and preschoolers. Bernie Burn, illustrated by Cruz, is about
an angry, flame-shaped character who can be found lurking all around the
kitchen. The story teaches children
to beware of Bernie.
We’re trying to show the child that Bernie Burn represents danger,” says
Cruz, a Pawtucket resident.
She’s been reading the book at preschools, and warning her audiences
to stay a couple of giant steps away from hot areas- -such as faucets, Crock-Pots,
coffee makers, and hot cups of tea.
She asks children whether they’ve been burned, and usually gets several
responses. Many have had run-ins with stoves and grills.
The book specifically targets young children because Cruz found that most
scald-prevention programs were geared to children ages 4 and older.
To order the book or arrange for Cruz to speak to a preschool or other group,
call 475-5852 or go to www.bernieburn.com.