A TODDLER has suffered horrific second degree burns after touching Britain’s ‘most dangerous plant’.
Her teacher has urged parents to check for giant hogweed in their gardens after the four-year-old ended up in hospital.
The young tot was playing at Longsight Park in the Harwood area of Manchester when she touched the dangerous wildflower on Saturday.
She was taken to A&E – prompting her elementary school to issue an urgent warning.
The dangerous plant often grows along hedges and looks like cow parsley, making it even more dangerous for unsuspecting walkers.
In a statement, Hardy Mill Primary School said: “One of our children was unfortunately exposed to this plant during the school holidays and ended up in hospital with second degree burns.
“Please look out for this plant in your garden and when you are out with your children.
“We have been informed that this plant will definitely grow in Longsight Park.
“It would be helpful to show your children what this plant looks like so they don’t come into contact with it.”
Giant hogweed – Heracleum mantegazzianum – is a notoriously dangerous plant that you’re likely to encounter when walking alongside rivers and streams or near a freshwater source.
The plant is of particular concern because you don’t have to break it up or rub the sap into your skin for its painful effects to kick in—just an unfortunate brushing with its leaves or stems is all it takes.
Giant hogweed stems have fine, needle-like hairs that cause extreme irritation.
Toxins in the juice bind to DNA in skin cells, causing them to die and form huge burns and blisters.
Bear’s Claw can reach up to 25 feet tall with long green stems flecked with purple, huge branches with small white flowers and green leaves.
It is a close relative of cow parsley and the plant’s flower heads can reach 2 feet in diameter.
Hot weather amid the coronavirus lockdown and flooding earlier in the year sparked an explosion of giant hogweed across the UK.
According to PlantTracker, dozens of sightings of the poisonous plant have been recorded across the UK.
It has been sighted in the countryside as well as in cities such as London and Manchester.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) also describes the plant as “a serious risk to people who are unaware of its potential harm”.
The Sun previously reported two other children who suffered injuries from giant hogweed, 10-year-old Lauren and 22-month-old Ella.
According to the Woodland Trust, blisters from giant hogweed can last for several years.
If you suspect you have been exposed to giant hogweed, Healthline recommends washing the affected area under cold water with mild soap and out of direct sunlight.
Avoid contact with your eyes as the burning sap can cause blindness.
If burns or blisters form, you should seek immediate medical attention as they can be treated with anti-inflammatory creams.
A full guide to giant hogweed, including what it looks like and how to get rid of it, can be found here.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/5560750/teachers-urgent-warning-pupil-third-degree-burns/ Teachers’ urgent warning after 4-year-old pupil suffers horrific third-degree burns after touching ‘Britain’s most dangerous plant’