A mum has warned parents about the dangers of Hogweed after her son was left with horrific burns from the toxic plant.
Jayden Bird, nine, was playing with siblings on a camping holiday with his family when he rubbed his leg against the weed.
Within minutes his leg was covered in red marks that erupted into painful puss-filled blisters.
Hogweed, which can cause a host of harmful side effects including blindness, permanent scarring, irritable blisters and burns, is thriving due to warmer weather and people taking more walks during the coronavirus pandemic has made it more likely that they will come into contact with it.
Doctors have said the third-degree burns suffered by Jayden will leave scars that could last several years, and his mum Carly said he now doesn’t want to wear shorts outside.
The 31-year-old care worker, from Warwickshire, warned other parents to keep an eye out for the plant which can look “quite attractive” to the untrained eye.
She 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.”
The family were camping at Bosworth Water Trust in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, when Jayden brushed against the plant on August 16.
It was immediately itchy and sore, but the rash grew larger and after several hours huge blisters appeared.
He was taken to hospital, where medics said it was a third degree burn from Hogweed.
Jayden was treated with antibiotics, painkillers and cream and his blisters bandaged up.
Described by some as ‘Britain’s most dangerous plant’, Hogweed has thrived following a mild winter and sunny spring, with lots of rain.
According to the NHS website it looks like “innocuous cow parsley with white flowers clustered in an umbrella-shaped head that is up to 80cm in diameter”.