A mother from Oklahoma warning other parents to be mindful of where they keep their household appliances after her 1-year-old daughter was badly burned when a slow cooker tipped over.
Vanesa Herrera had placed her baby girl, Azra, in a walker as she made dinner at her home in Blanchard, she told KFOR. Though Herera usually puts Azra in a high chair when she has things to do, this night she chose differently, and the decision with devastating consequences.
“Usually, the routine is to put her in the high chair, give her a snack and then do whatever I needed to do but, this day, I put her in the walker,” Herrera told the news station. “The Crock Pot was still plugged into the island, and she got over there and pulled it down.”
The steaming juice of the cooking meat flowed over right onto the little girl’s face.
“She made a little sound, but I think she was in shock,” Herrera recalled.
Emergency services rushed Azra to a local hospital, but she was then airlifted to a medical center in Dallas.
“I was still trying to process what happened. It was scary,” Herrera told KFOR.
Though Azra was released a few days later, she was admitted to another hospital after returning home when doctors discovered she was malnourished since “the burns had just sucked everything out of her,” Herera explained.
Studies cited by the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford note that nearly 2,000 children ages 14 and under die as a result of injuries at home. The injuries can come in many forms but primarily stem from fires and burns, suffocation, drowning, firearms, falls, choking, and poisoning. In a 2015 report from the Centers for Disease Control, states for fires or burns, and drowning were highest for children 4 years and younger.
Now, Herera hopes to save other children from severe injury or death by sharing her story.
“You never think it could happen to you — and you hear that a lot but, when it does happen to you, there’s just no words to really describe the feeling,” Herrera told KFOR.
“In an instant, everything just kind of changed.”