Giant hogweed warning! What to do if you come into contact!
You may remember this from last year, however a fresh warning has now been issued.
You may have seen the unbelievable story circulating social media and even the national newspapers regarding a 10 year old girl who suffered third degree burns after picking up a giant hogweed whilst playing on a river bank.
The images were shocking and the burns looked absolutely agonising but her parents decided to share their story in order to raise awareness for other families so they can warn their children of the dangers.
Lauren Fuller came into contact with the plant during a trip to Loch Lomond and within two days her hands were covered in painful blisters and she may now even need skin grafts!
The extremely dangerous plant which is commonly found on river banks and waste land contains toxic chemicals which react with light when in contact with human skin causing blistering within 48 hours. The toxic sap prevents the skin from protecting itself from sunlight, which can lead to very bad sunburn and scarring. If accidentally rubbed in the eyes, the sap can cause temporary or even permanent blindness!
Guy Barter, of the Royal Horticultural Society, told the Northumberland Gazette: “Wherever you live in the UK, you can expect to encounter this plant.”
The NHS advises: ‘‘If the sap of the giant hogweed comes into contact with your skin, it can cause severe, painful burns and make your skin sensitive to strong sunlight. If you touch a giant hogweed, cover the affected area and wash it with soap and water. The blisters heal very slowly and can develop into phytophotodermatitis, a type of skin rash which flares up in sunlight. If you feel unwell after contact with giant hogweed, speak to your doctor.”