Mum's hogweed warning after son, 9, suffers horrific third degree burns from brushing leg on toxic plant

A MUM has issued a warning after her son received horrific third-degree burns from HOGWEED – dubbed Britain's most dangerous plant.

Jayden Bird, nine, rubbed his leg against the toxic weed while on a camping holiday with his family in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.



On August 16 while Jayden and his family were camping at Bosworth Water Trust he accidentally brushed off hogweed.

Within minutes his right leg was covered in red marks – and sixteen hours later they erupted into puss-filled blisters leaving him in agony.

Not realising it was hogweed, his parents drove home, before taking Jayden to the George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.

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.

The recent hot weather has created ideal conditions for hogweed to grow across Britain – with lockdown making it increasingly difficult to keep under control.

Hogweed

WHAT is hogweed and what happens if you brush off it?

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 five metres tall.

The danger of hogweed stems from its sap, which is present on all parts of the plant.

Toxic chemicals in the plant called furanocoumarins cause severe burns when exposed to UV light from the sun.

Even when the painful blisters subside, permanent scarring can remain.

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.

The careworker 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.

"He's lucky it didn't go on his face as if it had gone in his eye he would have gone blind."

Football fan Jayden is now worried about wearing shorts during PE and doesn't want to go camping again.

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.



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