The Standard Times
Thursday, June 24, 2004
By George E. Trafford

Mother Of Burn Victim Brings Special Message To Children
 
NORTH KINGSTOWN – It was a few days before Azurae Cruz’s first birthday.
 
It was a joyous time that suddenly turned traumatic.
 
The little girl sustained a second-degree burn on the palm of one hand that required IV injections.
 
“It was a traumatic event,” said Sarah Cruz, the child’s mother.
 
While Azurae survived the injury, it left an indelible mark on her mother, a registered nurse.
 
The burns her daughter sustained was the catalyst that caused Cruz and her husband, Christopher, to write and illustrate a book that warns children of the dangers of accidentally getting burned.
 
The book, Bernie Burn, is a storybook about burn injury prevention and safety in the home.
 
One recent morning, Cruz visited Buttons & Bows Early Learning Center, Inc. and introduced her book and talked with about 35 of the schools 50 students about burns.  
 
She explained to the children what to look for and how not to get themselves in a situation where they can be burned.
 
She used a variety of items found in the home which people can burn themselves.
 
There was a radiator, teakettle, toaster, small lamp, iron, coffee machine, a curling iron, and several other items.
 
“I burned my finger once when I was making waffles with the toaster,” said one child. Adding:  “But I don’t do that anymore.”
 
The book contains an introduction to parents, caregivers, and professionals about safe environments, and pictures of items that could cause children to burn themselves.
 
It tells the story of “Baby Rae” and the situations she could get herself into.
 
There also are Bernie Burn coloring pages at the back of the book.
 
The couple said that in response to the interest that their book has generated and positive feedback they have received, they started their own publishing company in January.
 
“Our mission is to offer storybooks for children and their parents and caregivers with imagination and purpose, emphasizing health promotion and safety awareness,” Cruz said.
 
She said that she and her husband have been working on the book for the last three years.


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