Mom Begs Parents Everywhere To Watch Out For Weed That Causes Third-Degree Burns

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These days, half the battle in parenting is just getting your kid away from a screen for two seconds and into the great outdoors.

I don’t know a single mom or dad who wouldn’t leap at the opportunity to send their kid into the backyard to play.

Still, even though there are immeasurable benefits to going out and enjoying nature, there are plenty of dangers out there too.

In order to enjoy nature safely and happily, it’s a good idea to teach your children what to avoid, from irritating plants like poison ivy, to potentially lethal dangers like rattlesnakes.

No matter where you live, there are going to be hazards, but one major hazard that lots of folks don’t know about comes in the form of a lacy, white flower.

It’s called giant hogweed, and despite its pretty blooms, this is no delicate flower.

In fact, this common weed found across North America causes dramatic, dangerous chemical burns.

Some of the following images contain graphic content, viewer discretion is advised.

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Back in 2015, a mom captured something alarming on camera when her young daughter came running over with burns.

The photos recently started circulating again on social media, highlighting a hidden danger that lots of parents aren’t aware of.

It’s a plant called giant hogweed. It grows all over Europe, and has spread to the U.S.

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In a Facebook post, the mom wrote:

Warning beware of a plant called giant hogweed.

I took my daughter fishing on Sunday, she broke the stem and some of the sap got on her hands…it has burned her hands really bad.

Hospital has said it’s 3rd degree burns she’s spent the last 2 and half days in hospital so please take care when near or around banks of rivers.

My daughter will be ok but it will take a long time to heal.

That particular incident happened in the U.K., but parents all across the U.S. should be aware of the dangers of the plant.

Simply brushing against the plant isn’t too much of a risk, though it should still be treated immediately; the real danger is in the sap of the plant.

It comes out when the stem of the plant is broken.

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The sap alone isn’t immediately harmful, but when it reacts with sunlight, it can have a drastic and painful effect.

The UV rays activate a toxin in the sap which eradicates the skin’s sun protection, and leaves it vulnerable to what is essentially an extreme form of sunburn.

Almost straight away, it raises giant, liquid-filled blisters on the skin.

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The blisters eventually go down, but can darken into scars that remain forever.

More importantly, the burns are extremely painful. If the blisters burst, there’s a high risk of infection and other complications.

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The giant hogweed is also called cow parsnip. It has big lacy flowers and looks similar to Queen Anne’s lace.

It’s the kind of plant that’s very tempting to little ones picking wildflowers, which is why you should be especially careful if you find any growing in your yard.

It particularly likes streams and fields, so watch out for this plant along riverbanks and other damp terrain.

If you or your kiddo does come in contact with the sap of this dangerous plant, the most important thing is to wash it with soap and cold water immediately.

You should also keep the skin out of the sun for at least 48 hours, until you’re sure a reaction won’t occur.

If a reaction does occur, or if you get the sap in your eye, see a doctor immediately.

You can learn more about giant hogweed on the Department of Environmental Conservation website.

Don’t forget to SHARE this important info with every parent and nature lover you know!