There are only around 10 plants in North America without including fungi that children have to stay clear of. They are busy studying Finland’s don’t do things, rather than learning practical knowledge like how to identify poison oak, or worse, hogweed.
Thus, spread the word and teach your children about these things.
The giant hogweed belongs to the carrot family and is able to grow up to 14 feet tall loaded with deadly toxic sap. If you accidentally break a stem or touch the sap then you will develop grotesque blisters. It is easy to do that because of its height. It has green stems with purple patches hairy with white hairs. Severe blistering, possible blindness and possible 3rd degree burns can be caused by the plant’s sap if one comes in contact with. This is due to the chemicals the plant contains and when they come in contact with human skin they dramatically increase the skin’s sensitivity to light. The formed blisters can last up to 6 years. If the sap gets in the eye, it can cause long term sensitivity to light.
Measures to take if your child comes in contact with it
- Wash the affected area with cold water, making haste as the toxic reaction can begin within 15 minutes;
- Get out of the sun;
- Apply a safe sunscreen on the affected area;
- If the sap comes in eye contact, flush it extensively with water and wear sunglasses for protection.
After the plants were spotted, the state of Massachusetts and the New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation issued detailed public warranties about the plant and the serious issues caused by coming in conflict with it. Not only these two states, but the northeastern region reacted as well, like Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, as well as the west part including Oregon and Washington.