A mum has put out a warning after her son suffered third-degree burns from brushing against a sprout of Hogweed, otherwise known as ‘Britain’s most dangerous plant’.
Jayden Bird, nine, was camping with his family in Bosworth Water Trust in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, when he ran past a patch of the toxic weed near some woods.
Within a matter of minutes his right leg was covered in harsh, red marks. Hours later these had become huge puss-filled blisters, leaving the little boy in total agony.
The toxic sap within the plant reacts with sunlight and is known to cause chemical burns on the skin.
Doctors told Jayden that he had suffered third-degree burns and he’s now self-conscious about wearing shorts.
Following the worrying incident, Jayden’s mum Carly, 31, said she wants to warn people of the dangers of hogweed.
The 31-year-old, from Warwickshire, 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.”
The careworker added: “He’s lucky it didn’t go on his face as if it had gone in his eye he would have gone blind.”
According to the NHS, hogweed, which can grow to five metres tall, looks like “innocuous cow parsley with white flowers clustered in an umbrella-shaped head that is up to 80cm in diameter” and specialists have urged parents to be extra careful when out with their children.
Bosworth Water Trust campsite has been approached for comment.
Carly is the second mother in recent weeks to come out and discuss the dangers of hogweed.
Rebecca Barnes appeared on ITV News to talk about how her two children required hospital treatment after coming into contact with the poisonous plant.
Barnes’ seven-year-old son Reggie and five-year-old daughter Roma had to be taken to Salisbury District Hospital after they encountered the giant hogweed when playing outside
Roma was left with horrific blisters, but if either had got the plant in their eyes, they could have been left permanently blinded.
Rebecca first got wind of the situation when she noticed that Roma’s skin was red, but her condition deteriorated after a day spent in the sunshine.
She explained: “It’s not commonly warned about which I think it needs to be.
“On public footpaths there needs to be pictures of it, because if the sap gets into your eyes it can cause permanent blindness.”