For the nature enthusiasts among us, touching plants is the most natural thing to do. We like feeling close to nature and exploring it.
However, some plants are not really the best to touch or hold because they may possess harmful chemicals or elements that can cause us discomfort. One such plant is the giant hogweed.
The bright white color of its flowers is especially attractive to children. Its danger is that it contains toxic sap that, once in contact with the skin, causes serious swelling and blisters.
This normally occurs when one breaks the hogweed's stalk or leaf, thereby releasing the sap. Even worse is possible blindness should the sap come into contact with the eyes. Furthermore, it increases the skin's sensitivity to light, potentially causing third degree burns.
So, what do you need to do once the hogweed's sap gets into contact with your skin? First, you need to get away from direct sunlight and wear dark sunglasses if your eyes are affected. The sap takes only 15 minutes to act, so make sure you are quick.
Second, wash the affected parts with plenty of cold water, including the eyes if affected. Also make sure to apply protective sunscreen on the skin.
For more on the dangers of the hogweed plant, see this video below.