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  • Writer's pictureMara Madsen

A Child Burn Survivor Turned Model Inspires Others

Madeline Decker, also known as Petite Miss California, is an actress and fashion model ranked in the 2022 top 100 world finalists for child model of the year. But her life has not always been beauty pageants and photoshoots. At a young age, Madeline remembers being rushed to the hospital for a severe scald burn injury that took her two months to recover from after accidentally kicking a cup of hot chocolate out of a family member's hands and onto her leg. Although the incident was extraordinarily frightening and excruciatingly painful, leaving her with numerous scars, she recalls being treated with incredible kindness by the surgeons and nurses that cared for her. Additionally, her incredibly supportive family stayed by her side and guided her through recovery. Their compassion made her feel safe and inspired her to help other burn survivor children.

At just seven years old, Madeline already has an accomplished modeling career, and she spends her spare time creating "feel-good kits" for hospitalized children. A few weeks back, she reached out to Children's Burn Foundation (CBF). Madeline was inspired by the organization's mission to heal children and prevent burn injuries and felt donating her kits to CBF would be a perfect way to support other child burn survivors.

Following her message, the CBF staff arranged for Madeline to come to tour their office and learn more about how they help child burn survivors and their families become thrivers. Children's Burn Foundation Chief Program Officer, Tanya Sorkin, explained what it means to thrive to Madeline. "With comprehensive care, love and support, CBF program participants don't just survive their injuries; they flourish and learn that they can achieve anything they set their minds to." Madeline related thrivers to plants that need the right amount of water and sun not just to survive; but to grow and thrive! She soon recognized that she, too, is a thriver! Madeline is a true inspiration, beautiful inside and out.

5 important scald burn prevention tips:

  • Always place children out of harm's way when passing hot food and liquids. Holding children while passing hot foods and liquids can lead to injury

  • Cook only on the back burners. Keep pan handles over the stove

  • Place hot items away from the edge of counters or tables. Steer clear of placing hot items on the floor where children can easily touch them

  • Avoid using tablecloths to prevent hot liquid or food spills

  • Never microwave a bottle or food for children under two

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