A mom has issued a warning after her 4-year-old was hospitalized when he suffered a toxic sting from a caterpillar.
Horrified Lauryn Mae Jordan, 26, said her son Beau became violently sick after he accidentally touched the creepy-crawly on their doorstep.
The youngster was also overcome with severe drowsiness and puffy facial features.
Beau was then rushed to hospital the following day with Jordan fearing for her son's health.
The mom-of-two from Plymouth, in Devon, believes that the caterpillar looks like the toxic Oak Processionary Moth.
It is covered in an irritant and can cause life-threatening asthma attacks, severe vomiting and skin rashes.
"I didn't know caterpillars could do this," Jordan said. "Kids pick up bugs, I just want parents to be aware that this can happen."
Beau ended up spending several hours at Derriford Hospital after falling ill during the night, but has no memory of it.
Jordan sought advice from the emergency doctors who advised her to take her young son to the accident and emergency department at the hospital.
"His eyes were really puffy," she said. "They just waited for him to go to the toilet as he hadn't been drinking any fluids. It was during the night that I was worried. He was sick during his sleep, but he didn't remember being sick."
"I just thought maybe he had got a bug, it wasn't until my daughter said 'maybe it's from the caterpillar that bit him yesterday' that I thought about it," she said. "I phoned Devon Doctors and they said he may need to get a shot of antihistemne."
Whilst Beau didn't need any treatment, Jordan wants to make parents aware of the dangers of children picking up bugs.
Parents beware Beau got bitten/stung by a caterpillar on Friday, then during the night he was sick while he was asleep & during the day very sleepy and constantly being sick," she posted on Facebook. "Ended up at the hospital, luckily it was minor but it carries toxins and could have been much worse. Who knew caterpillars could do this."
A caterpillar expert said due to the poor quality of the photograph it was difficult to identify the type but warned youngsters to keep their children away from any hairy version of the species.
"Some people seem to have more sensitive skin than others, particularly children, so to be on the safe side it's always best to avoid direct skin contact with any hairy caterpillar," Steve Ogden, from Wildlife Insight, said.