A MUM has issued a stark warning to parents after her daughter, 4, suffered a horrifying reaction to a common caterpillar.
Taking to Facebook, the woman shared photos of her tot’s swollen face and eyes after handling the critter.
The little girl handled a poisonous oak moth caterpillar[/caption]
She was rushed to hospital with a severe allergic reaction[/caption]
Captioning the post, the mum wrote: “I always encourage her to enjoy things and touch little creatures but this little caterpillar has caused a massive allergic reaction.
“I’m not sure why she’s held them 100s of times.”
The mum revealed that her daughter’s face and lips had began to swell shortly after she handled the caterpillar, describing it as “bloody scary.”
Terrified, the mum called an ambulance where she was given an injection before being rushed to hospital.
The oak moth can cause swelling and even breathing difficulties[/caption]
The tot has a raised rash up and down her arms[/caption]
What is an oak moth caterpillar – and what to do if you see one
The caterpillars of the oak processionary moth are a real pest. They were first found in the UK in 2006 and are now in London and parts of southeast England.
In late spring and summer, the caterpillars have thousands of tiny hairs that can cause itchy rashes, eye problems and sore throats – and very occasionally breathing difficulties. The caterpillars walk up and down trees in nose-to-tail processions.
If you find them, or spot one of their white silken nests, report it to the Forestry Commission or to your local council.
She wrote: “They gave her an injection in the ambulance and she responded well.
“Then on the way the swelling got worse so she had more at the hospital and they’ve put her on steroids for a few days so scary.”
At the hospital doctors explained that the little girl was likely to have been in contact with a freshly hatched oak processionary caterpillar.
The bugs’ hairs contain thaumetopoein, a substance that can irritate skin, airways and eyes in both humans and animals.
The mum wants to warn other parents of the dangers[/caption]
The Forestry Commission warns people not to approach the bugs, and to instead report them to your local council.
Luckily the youngster is now improving, with her mum adding, “She’s had more antihistamines and steroids they seem to have done the trick.
“She has to take them for a few days but she’s definitely improving!”
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