Warning as tot suffers third-degree burns touching 'UK's most dangerous plant'

by 24britishtvJune 15, 2022, 8 a.m. 16
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A 4-year-old child was left with horrendous third-degree burns after touching 'Britain's most dangerous plant'.

The youngster was playing in Longsight Park in Bolton when the school child touched the dangerous wild flower plant known as 'giant hogweed' on Saturday June 4.

She developed severe blisters and required hospital treatment - which has led to her primary school issuing an urgent warning to parents, Manchester Evening News reported.

In a statement, Hardy Mill Primary School said: “One of our children has sadly been in contact with this plant over the half term break and ended up at the hospital with second degree burns.

"Please look out for this plant in your garden and when out and about with you children.

“We have been informed that this plant is definitely growing in Longsight Park.

"It would be helpful to show your children what this plant looks like so they can avoid coming into contact with it.”

Described as Britain's 'most dangerous plant’, giant hogweed can cause serious health problems and major irritation to skin as its toxins seep deep into the cells.

The weed can grow up to 20ft tall, while each giant hogweed plant can spread out to cover a range of around two metres too, making it highly invasive.

Giant hogweed is part of the Apiaceae family which also includes plants such as parsley, carrot, parsnip, cumin and coriander.

However, the weed which is known formally as Heracleum mantegazzianum, can be harmful and continuously grows was introduced to Britain in the 19th century from Eurasia.

Its sap is one of the most notable parts of the plant, with its thick green stem having patches of purple and white hairs on it.

With thick green leaves that can grow to five feet in width, giant hogweeds really live up to their name.

Experts are urging for people to be aware of the plant’s hairy sap where the danger lies, containing organic toxic chemical compounds called furocoumarins.

It is easy for people to brush up against giant hogweed without realising, with the sap's toxins making themselves known in major ways causing burns and scars.

In the short-term, people can suffer from blisters and rashes as well as painful inflamed areas.

However, the long-term consequences are more dramatic with people facing potential disfiguration or long-lasting purple blotches on their skin.

Those worst affected could even suffer with skin irritation for months or years after the plant made contact with them.

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