Woman Issues Urgent Warning After Her Son Suffers Third-Degree Hogweed Burns
Warning: graphic content
A woman has sent out an a warning after her son received horrific third degree burns from a common plant.
Jayden Bird, nine, from Warwickshire, accidentally rubbed his leg against giant hogweed - dubbed Britain's most dangerous plant - which is currently thriving thanks to lockdown.
Little Jayden was playing with his siblings while on a camping holiday with his family when he ran past a patch of the toxic weed near some trees on the campsite.
Within minutes his right leg was covered in red marks - and 16 hours later they erupted into puss-filled blisters leaving him in agony.
Doctors said the third-degree burns will leave scars which could last a number of years, and little Jayden said he doesn't want to wear shorts outside anymore.
If the sap from giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) touches the skin it can lead to severe burns and inflammation, while prolonged exposure can produce difficulties in breathing and an acute bronchitis up to three weeks long.
The recent hot weather has created ideal conditions for hogweed to grow across Britain - with lockdown making it increasingly difficult to keep under control.
The vicious weed's harmful sap can have devastating effects if it comes into contact with human skin, causing painful burns and blisters, and life-changing scars.
Jayden's mum Carly, 31, wants to warn other parents to keep an eye out for the plant which looked "quite attractive" to the untrained eye.
More Like ThisMore Like This
The careworker said: "The poor boy, the blisters are so big and look so sore, I am just so glad that none of my other children were hurt from this horrid plant, Jayden has suffered enough.
"It doesn't look like a nasty plant - it looks quite attractive. It's not a surprise that kids would naturally go up to it without knowing it's the UK's most poisonous plant. He's lucky it didn't go on his face as if it had gone in his eye he would have gone blind."
Jayden and his family were camping in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, when he was stung on August 16.
He was playing with other children near trees and brushed the plant for a few seconds while he ran past.
It was immediately itchy and sore, but hour by hour the rash grew larger, until huge blisters appeared.
Not realising it was hogweed, they drove home, before taking Jayden to the George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.
Medics said it was a third degree burn from hogweed, and covered the burns in bandages.They gave him antibiotics, painkillers and cream.
Football fan Jayden is now worried about wearing shorts during PE and doesn't want to go camping again.
According to the NHS website hogweed looks like "innocuous cow parsley with white flowers clustered in an umbrella-shaped head that is up to 80cm in diameter".
Dubbed 'Britain's most dangerous plant' hogweed can grow up to 5m tall.
A mild winter, sunny days and lots of rain has created ideal conditions for the plant, and specialists have been less able to tackle it due to lockdown.
In case of hogweed exposure, you should contact your GP as soon as possible.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read