A mother has issued a warning about a common tree after two of her children ended up having surgery after playing with a fallen branch.
Victoria Meys was at a playground in Auckland, New Zealand with her children Madlyn, 12, and William, 7, as they began playing with the leaves that had fallen from a Phoenix palm tree.
“They were in a bush hut near a playground, and children used them to make bridges,” Ms. Meys explained to Yahoo News Australia.
“They were just playing with another group of kids, so my son just came from there and said my daughter couldn’t go.”
Mrs. Meys went and helped her daughter out, took off her shoe, and thought something might have bitten her when she noticed a small mark on her leg.
“It almost looked like a sting from a wasp or something,” she recalled.
Both children had to undergo surgery
The next day, Madlyn still could not walk and was still in so much pain that she was taken to the emergency room, where they did an ultrasound to try to find out what was wrong.
At that time, Mrs. Meys had visited the playground again and noticed that there were leaves from a palm tree where the children had been playing.
Surely the doctors found a centimeter long piece of palm needle stuck in her tendon.
“At the time, I had noticed that my son William had a sting on the side of his leg,” Meys said.
“And I thought ‘I wonder if he has been stabbed too’, but he was not in pain or anything. He just ran around as usual.”
When doctors took William to the hospital for a double check, doctors also found a centimeter-long needle in Williams’ calf.
“[The needle] “had gone into his calf, and with the muscle raised down his leg – probably three or four inches – and then turned to the side with the muscle that had moved inside his leg,” she said.
Both children underwent surgery on October 17 to remove the needles from their legs, resulting in limited mobility with both children on crutches.
“On Tuesday it is a little over a week since they had their bandages removed and they have got a fairly large sewn area on the leg and foot from the operation, it will definitely get scars,” Ms Meys explained.
“Palm trees should be removed”
Mrs. Meys contacted the local council after her children’s surgery to remove the debris from the tree, which they did immediately.
“The tree has not been felled yet, but I have been told that it will hopefully be the next step.”
However, the mother of three believes that all Phoenix palm trees should be removed from playgrounds, reserves and public spaces.
“Phoenix palms are very dangerous and can cause infection and severe pain. They are often also undetected in the skin,” Meys said, urging people to be careful with them.
“Please be careful with them.”
According to New Zealand landscape architect firm Second Nature, the leaves found on Phoenix Palm are sharp and poisonous.
“Phoenix palms pose a significant health and safety risk to anyone who touches them. The hardened thorns found at the base of the leaves are extremely sharp and toxic. The tip will often break off once penetrated into the skin,” it says. it on the website.
Phoenix palms are also found in Australia.
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