‘HOGWEED BURNT MY GIRL’S HANDS’
A MUM from Newport is warning other parents after her daughter suffered chemical burns caused by a common British weed.
Two-year-old Lexi Buchanan was out walking with mum Jamie and their dog when she came into contact with giant hogweed, dubbed Britain’s most dangerous plant.
Jamie, 24, from Maesglas Crescent, Newport, said: “We went over to the river to walk the dog like we normally do.
“The next day she went to playgroup and they asked if she had a burn.”
Lexi’s hands had developed a painfullooking red blister.
“When we took her to hospital the next morning the doctors said she had touched hogweed. She was not using her hand very much and was feeling a bit sorry for herself.”
Jamie is now trying to let other parents know of the dangers. She said: “It can cause blindness and the scars can last for up to six years.
“I wasn’t aware it could cause so much damage. Luckily, it was only Lexi’s hand.
“I want to make other people aware. It is actually like a burn and that is what I thought it was initially.
“It has only been three or four days. Day one it looked like a burn with a blister on top of it. Then the blister popped and it went a dark colour.
“She must have just grabbed it, any part of the plant can cause the burn. A man from the council said it can grow anywhere but is more likely in moist areas. Now I know the dangers I will be keeping an eye out for it. If a child fell face first into it they could go blind.”
Giant hogweed is a highly invasive plant which is dangerous to humans,, but there are ways to stay safe from it if you know what to look out for.
Part of the carrot family, the giant hogweed looks pretty, but is dangerous when brushed by human skin.
Its sap is toxic and contains chemicals known as furanocoumarins.
When these come into contact with the skin, and the skin comes into contact with UV light, these chemicals lead to a condition called phytophotodermatitis – a red rash, often followed by severe burns and blistering within 24 hours.
If you come into contact with giant hogweed, the NHS advises covering the affected area and washing it with soap and water.
If you begin to feel unwell after contact with giant hogweed, you should speak to your doctor.
The sap of giant hogweed is a painful irritant
The burns on Lexi Buchanan’s hand after she touched giant hogweed