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MULLICA HILL, N.J. (CBS) — With Halloween coming up next week, many will be getting decorations and costumes ready this weekend. While its a fun candy-filled holiday, it can also be dangerous.
The biggest dangers for children associated with Halloween come from cars, but costumes can also cause all sorts of injuries. One family in Mullica Hill, New Jersey wants to warn others about the dangers of candles.
There are no signs of the horror that Jared Callan lived through. The 10-year-old is busy enjoying his backyard with no worries about Halloween, even though a Halloween accident nearly killed him.
“A candle was on the table and I was reaching over and that’s how I caught fire,” Jared said.
It was three years ago. He was dressed like a mummy when the candle flame ignited the costume.
“He was worried about the house catching fire and people not being able to get out of the house, so he went outside,” Jared’s mother, Selena Callan, said. “He had just learned in school about stop, drop and roll so he knew to do that.”
Jared had second- and third-degree burns on 35 percent of his body.
His mother still remembers the ambulance ride.
“In the same breath that he asked if he could go trick-or-treating, he also asked if he was going to die,” she said. “That was really hard because he was still a kid but here he is, worried about his life.”
“Managing pain in small children can be very challenging,” Dr. Brooke Burkey of St. Christopher’s Hospital For Children said.
Dr. Burkey says the pediatric burn center is specially equipped to treat children. Distractions are important.
“It is specially decorated for children to make them more comfortable,” she said.
Fun murals are everywhere, including in the hyrdotherapy room, where the burns are cleaned so kids can be distracted by the ceiling.
Jared — back to enjoying games — spent almost a month at the hospital. He’s a little boy who learned a difficult lesson about Halloween.
“Children are, at Halloween, excited, eating a lot of candy and bouncing all over the place and if you have open-flame candles or lanterns around, certainly that’s going to be a risk for catching something on fire,” Dr. Burkey said.
And no, Jared isn’t afraid of Halloween. Like any other kid, he enjoys all the candy. This year he’ll dress up as a dinosaur.
Jared had a series of skin graphs and is now completely healed.
His mom says they’re grateful for all the support they got from the community and at the hospital.