Sunday, March 23, 2008

Little Burnt Kid

This story is a heart-wrencher: this little guy, a three year old Iraqi boy, was badly burnt when the stove caught fire.

This is an extremely common occurrence with little kids in the Middle East. On my first trip to the Arabian Peninsula, I had a chance to visit a hospital in a very rural area. A little boy in that hospital was recovering from head-to-toe second and third degree burns. The stove in his house caught fire.

Most households in the Middle East use propane gas to fuel their stoves. Propane in oil producing countries is fairly cheap since oil products are government subsidized. Convenience and portability has made propane the cooking fuel of choice. Unfortunately, safety standards for use of propane tanks and accessories are not a major priority. Accidents are simply accepted as a fact of life.

One of the craziest I've seen over there is the way kids rolls these tanks down the road. They're sent to fill up the tanks, but the tanks double as a toy as the little ones go about their chore. There is no telling what kind of mishaps these tanks experience on an outing with three or four boys not thinking about avoiding trouble. I'd like to strap a camera to one of these tanks and post the video on You Tube. (A propane tank cam. Has anyone thought of that yet?)

Kudos to our men and women in uniform for taking care of this little guy and making sure he gets the best of care no matter what it takes even if that means a trip to another continent.

source: link

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