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Boy, 10, suffers horrendous burns from ‘Britain’s most dangerous plant’

A schoolboy experienced extreme pain and broke out in blisters and swelling after he touched a giant hogweed know as Britain’s most dangerous plant.

William Thomas, 10, went for a walk and came into contact with the plant and his mum, Nicky, said the schoolboy’s injuries are a result of just a few seconds exposure.

But it's left the child with scarring which could take years to heal.

Nicky said her son remembers grabbing a plant but had a “very red face” the next day which turned into a swollen and red eye 36 hours later.

William also developed “extreme itchiness” on his hand, which was “very painful” to the touch too.

She said: “The next day he had a very red face, which I thought was odd, then that evening an itchy hand.

"Then around 36 hours after, he woke up with it very swollen and red around his eye, and the beginnings of blisters on his right hand.”

According to Nicky her son then developed shooting pains up his right arm and pain in the upper body lymph nodes.

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She said: “It was extremely swollen so it felt hot and tight.

"The skin completely peeled off and was open in many places.

"He attended hospital four times. He had a course of oral steroids, steroid cream, antibiotics and antihistamines. His hand was initially bandaged as if burnt.”

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It has been three weeks since William touched the plant and the condition of his hand has improved, but his scars will take years to fade.

Nicky said: “We're still applying steroid cream to his hand.

"Random rashes appear around his body which are very itchy too, I believe they will subside anytime now.

"But he could have scarring for five years similar to a burn scar.

"He also has to cover his hand in total sunblock for five years due to it now being extremely sensitive to sunlight. His hand could get severely burned by sunlight."

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The giant hogweed is native to the Caucasus, but was introduced to Britain as an ornamental plant in 1817, and its spread has now got out of control.

Its sap stops the skin protecting itself against sunlight, leading to nasty burns when the skin is exposed to the sun's rays.

In the UK, it's especially common to find the giant hogweed alongside rivers, which can transport the plant's seeds.

Mike Duddy, of the Mersey Basin Rivers Trust, said giant hogweed wad "without a shadow of a doubt, the most dangerous plant in Britain."

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