Warnings Issued As Children Burned By Poisonous Giant Hogweed Plants
Last summer there were many more cases than usual of children being burned by the poisonous Giant Hogweed plant, and now fresh warnings have been issued after new areas have been identified as having the plants growing.
Last year there were several cases of children being burned in areas around Greater Manchester where the plant is common - Clifton Country Park in Salford and Moses Gate Country Park in Bolton, and now a new area in
Bury has been identified as having the plants.
The case of 10 year old Lauren Fuller (pictured below) made headlines when she was burned by the plants near Loch Lomond. Within hours she had bright red burns on her hands and face which developed into large blisters, and her father called for warnings to be put in place around the area.
The burns are caused when the plant's sap gets onto the skin, as it causes photo-sensitivity so that the exposed skin can be badly burned by sunlight. The plant is difficult to get rid of once established, and the advice is to wear protective gloves and to keep skin covered when dealing with it.
If we are more aware of what the plant looks like then we can avoid it, and knowing where it has become established will help so that children can be kept away from those areas. This new are that has just been identified is along a footpath in Close Park, Radcliffe, Bury and it has been said that the plants there will soon reach 15 foot high.
In the meantime the more people who are aware of the dangers the better. The huge plants are just the type of thing that children would be drawn to when out playing because of their height, so a warning might hopefully prevent more injuries. The much smaller Common Hogweed is not harmful, it is only the Giant Hogweed that is dangerous. If you come into contact with the sap the NHS advice is to immediately wash the area well with soap and cold water as soon as possible, and cover it up. Keep the area away from sunlight for 48 hours, but see a medical professional if you have a reaction to it.