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Child, 4, suffers serious burns after touching Giant Hogweed in park

todayJune 14, 2022 1

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A four year old suffered horrific burns after coming into contact with a toxic plant branded the most dangerous in the UK. The youngster touched Giant Hogweed which left them in hospital with second degree burns.

Now school chiefs issued a warning for parents and children to learn what the plant looks like – and avoid it like the plague. The four year old touched Giant Hogweed while in Longsight Park in Greater Manchester.

Giant hogweed is a common, cow parsley-like plant that is often found along hedgerows in the UK – and families are being told to check their gardens and any parks they go to. The sap of the plant can cause burns to dogs and humans, with blistering potentially lasting for years, according to the Woodland Trust, BirminghamLive reports.

When these come in contact with the skin, it causes a reaction called phytophotodermatitis. This reaction actually damages your DNA and changes the way your skin protects itself from ultraviolet (UV) light.

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Phytophotodermatitis means your skin isn’t able to protect itself properly from the sun. If the skin gets exposed to sunlight, it causes a severe burn. This chemical reaction can happen as quickly as 15 minutes after getting the sap on a person’s skin. Severe burns could require surgery to graft new skin over the damaged skin.

What to do if you get it on you:

  • If you get giant hogweed sap on your skin, wash the area with mild soap and cool water as soon as you can. Keep the skin covered when you’re outside to protect it from sunlight. The faster you’re able to wash off the sap, the less possible damage it can cause.
  • If a rash or blisters start to form, get medical attention. The treatment will depend on how severe the burn or reaction is.

A spokesperson for Bolton Council said: “We haven’t had any reports of Giant Hogweed in Longsight Park and it isn’t somewhere we’ve had it in the past. However we will send an officer to the area to check.



Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) Usk Valley, Clytha Estate, Monmouthshire, South Wales.
Giant Hogweed can cause serious burns

“Our policy is to immediately treat all instances of accessible Giant Hogweed on our land to remove its presence.” The local authority added: “We are also currently carrying out a treatment on council land where Giant Hogweed was reported in the past, in order to limit its spread this year.

“We will continue to remove any accessible Giant Hogweed on council land as soon as it is reported, and would like to encourage the public to report any instances of what they believe to be Giant Hogweed on council land to neighbourhoodservicesinbox@bolton.gov.uk or by calling 01204 336632.”

Hardy Mill Primary School aid: “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.”

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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