Mum's warning after spotting 'red line' tracking down son's arm

Sarah Carty
·Features & Style Editor
·3-min read

A mum’s warning has gone viral online after her eight-year-old son contracted sepsis after falling during a day out at the zoo.

The UK mum said she was in ‘two minds’ about posting the image to Facebook but her husband convinced her to share it so other parents are aware.

Photo: Instagram/tinyheartseducation
Photo: Instagram/tinyheartseducation

“A week or so ago the littlest fell over at the zoo. He took quite a bashing but once we got home I cleaned him up,” she started her post, which she’s since deleted but has been reposted by the Instagram page tinyheartseducation.

While the mum said she tried to make sure that the wounds didn’t get too dirty by ringing the school on Farm day to ensure he washed his hands after digging, he’s an eight-year-old boy who no doubt loves to get his hands dirty.

“The wounds didn’t look infected- they’d got bigger so I was concerned but they weren’t gunky,” she said.

She went on to say that when her son later showed her his hand, she noticed a red tracking down his veins and elbow.

Her friend’s child has suffered sepsis with the same symptoms two years previously, so she decided to take her son to the doctor, who commended her on recognising the signs.

“This is blood poisoning/ sepsis. It isn’t something you can “leave” until Monday when the doctors are back in the office,” she wrote.

Chimpanzee and little boy at Zoo
The woman's child feel while at the zoo. Photo: Getty Images

Her son was put on antibiotics and recovered well but the mum wanted other parents to know the ‘signs’ so they could bring their child to the doctor if they ever notice something similar.

According to the post on Instagram, the red line is called Lymphangitis, which is caused by an inflammation or an infection of the lymphatic system.

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“If treated quickly, the condition can be mild but if left untreated, complications can occur, and the condition can become very serious. When the infection crosses over into the bloodstream, like it did for this boy, it’s known as sepsis,” the post read.

People were thankful to the mum for sharing her story. “Definitely should be shared. I had no idea and now I’m aware,” one person wrote.

“Sharing stories like this is so important,” another wrote.

“Actually helped me out - I never knew about it and it happened to me with an infected finger that started tracking up my arm! Got on the necessary medication and cleared it up,” another commenter wrote.

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