A concerned and vigilant mother is sounding the alarm bells after her baby experienced a severe reaction from consuming celery. The distressing incident left her daughter with painful burns surrounding her delicate mouth, leading the mother to share a heartfelt warning with others.

Reanna Bendzak, residing in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, encountered this alarming situation when she offered her seven-month-old teething baby a celery stick as a soothing remedy during a sunny outing earlier this year. However, to her dismay, the little one developed sore-looking burns afterwards, causing immense concern for the worried mother.

Explaining the incident, Bendzak recounted, “Our daughter was teething, so we decided to give her a piece of celery to chew on, hoping it would provide some relief for her gums. Although the celery wasn’t warm, she was fully covered in a onesie and had a sun hat on, so we believed she was adequately protected.”

In an effort to raise awareness and caution parents about the potential risks associated with certain snacks, Bendzak took to Facebook and shared images of her daughter’s symptoms following the episode that occurred in mid-March. Her post carried a poignant message: “With warmer days ahead, it’s crucial to be mindful of the snacks and drinks we and our children consume. Ensure thorough washing before exposing them to sunlight, as anyone can fall victim to this.”

Speaking in an interview with CBC, she further described the aftermath, saying, “She held the celery for around five to ten minutes, and for the rest of the afternoon, we remained outdoors. The next morning, we noticed a teething rash around her mouth, which later developed into blisters. It was second-degree burns encircling her mouth, causing intense swelling that made eating or nursing quite challenging.”

Doctors later diagnosed the baby with phytophotodermatitis, commonly known as “margarita burns,” which occurs when the skin comes into contact with the sap of specific plants like carrots, celery, and limes, and is subsequently exposed to sunlight. These plants contain furanocoumarins, compounds that react to UVA ultraviolet rays, leading to such adverse skin reactions. It’s important to note that other plants, including peppers, figs, mustard, parsley, and parsnips, can also cause similar symptoms.

Bendzak’s emotional journey as a parent in this ordeal is relatable to many. “As any parent would understand, your initial reaction is, ‘Oh my gosh, what did I do? How could I have prevented this?'” she expressed to Good Morning America. “But our actions are limited to the knowledge we possess, and at that moment, we believed we were making the best choice.”

Reflecting on the incident, she added, “Looking back, of course, we would have acted differently and made a conscious effort to go indoors and wash thoroughly with soap and water.”

While the burns experienced by the baby are distinct from allergic reactions, they often take a couple of days to become noticeable. Fortunately, Bendzak’s daughter is on the road to recovery, although she may require treatment for the lingering scars.

This cautionary tale serves as a reminder for parents to be cautious and well-informed about the potential risks associated with certain foods, especially when exposed to sunlight. It is crucial to prioritize the safety and well-being of our little ones by taking necessary precautions and seeking guidance from healthcare professionals.

As we navigate the joys and challenges of parenthood, let us continue to learn and grow, armed with knowledge that empowers us to make informed choices for the health and safety of our precious children.