June 3, 2023

This can start your summer on a bitter note.

A baby developed a rash after chewing celery in the sun, a horrified mother claims.

Reanna Bendzak, from Canada, gave her then 7-month-old daughter a piece of celery to gnaw on to soothe her teething gums. The family spent time outside soaking up some rays and thought the little one was protected from the sun.

“It definitely wasn’t hot, but it was sunny, so she was covered from neck to toe in a onesie and we had a sun hat on, so we thought she was pretty well protected,” she told “Good Morning America,” adding that she was constantly wiping her child’s face with a cloth.

But when the baby woke up the next morning with a rash around her mouth that later blistered, Bendzak knew something was wrong.

Baby cheeks with blistering
After just 20 minutes of sun exposure while gnawing on a celery stick, the baby’s cheeks and mouth area erupted into a blister the next day.
Reanna Bendzak

Photo taken before rash of baby's clear face
The child, pictured before the incident, was teething.
Reanna Bendzak

The little one had phytophotodermatitis – a reaction that occurs when touching certain outdoor foods, such as celery, citrus fruits, figs, carrots, as well as wild dill, parsley and parsnips.

“When you get a substance on the skin that is photosensitive or UV sensitive, it causes a phototoxic reaction after sun exposure, the severity of which is proportional to how much of the substance has touched the skin,” Dr. Clarissa Yang, chair of dermatology at Tufts Medical Center, previously told The Post.

The painful condition is often referred to as “margarita burn,” due to the common tendency to sip the lip-wrinkling cocktail while basking in the summer heat.

Baby's face with a rash as it heals
The mother-of-two shared a timeline of the rash and healing process on Facebook.
Reanna Bendzak

“As all parents know, your first reaction is like, ‘Oh my God, what did I do? And how could I have prevented that?’ Bendzak said, adding that in hindsight she would have washed her baby’s face with soap and water.

“But you’re only as good a parent as the knowledge you have, and we did what we thought was best at the time.”

Her daughter, now 9 months old, had blisters on her face for 10 days, which later progressed to hyperpigmentation and finally disappeared after six weeks. While the baby is now “doing well,” it only took 20 minutes of direct sun exposure to trigger the response.

Now, the mother-of-two is sharing her story on Facebook and has even recreated the reaction her baby experienced on her arm.

“Hopefully this story can help others learn from our experience and also help them make better decisions for their own personal lives,” said Bendzak, who had “no idea” this could happen.

Earlier this year, a young boy experienced the same reaction after squeezing limes, and last year a TikToker suffered the same fate.

The creator, who goes by Shana online, issued a public service announcement advising viewers not to cut limes in the sun — however good a refreshing margin may sound.

“I now have second and third degree burns and blisters on my hands,” she wrote on a viral TikTok video to warn others.