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Children's health

18th Jul 2023

Mum issues warning to parents after letting child eat outdoors

Ellen Fitzpatrick

A mum in Canada has shared a warning to other parents about eating and drinking outdoors following her child’s rare diagnosis.

Reanna Bendzak told Good Morning America that she and her husband, along with their two children, were at an outdoor barbecue in March when she gave her then-7-month-old daughter a piece of celery to chew on.

Explaining it was due to her teething, she also said that her daughter was well protected against the sunshine.

She said: “It wasn’t warm by any means, but it was sunny so she was covered neck-to-toe in a onesie and we had a sun hat on her, so we thought she was fairly well-protected.”

After wiping her daughter’s face multiple times during the afternoon, her face was never washed with soap and water.

The following morning, the couple woke up to see a rash around their daughter’s mouth which then developed into blisters.

Their daughter was then diagnosed with the condition phytophotodermatitis. This is a skin reaction that can occur after touching certain plants while out in the sun, Canadian Family Physician says.

“As any parents out there would know, your first reaction is just like, ‘Oh my gosh, what did I do? And how could I have prevented that,'” Bendzak said. “But you’re only as good of a parent as the knowledge you have, and we did what we thought was best at the time.”

She continued: “Now in retrospect, of course, we would have done things differently and made an intentional effort to go inside and wash with soap and water.”

The blistering around her mouth lasted for around 10 days and now, months later, the toddler is doing “great”.

The mum hopes this story will raise awareness for other parents to ensure their children are well protected from the sun during the summer months.