5-Year-Old Attacked by Jumping Cactus on Carlsbad Lagoon Trial

The following is a letter to the editor warning about a painful and shocking experience at the Carlsbad Agua Hedionda lagoon.

Courtesy Kevin Spring
Courtesy Kevin Spring
The following is a letter to the editor by Kevin Spring

While walking with my family down by the south east end of the Lagoon in Carlsbad Agua Hedionda and my youngest son was attacked by what is known as jumping cactus. Having grown up here in Carlsbad and hiked that whole area since I was young I've never seen such a cactus. It was vicious to dislodge from his leg.

Five of us were walking on the groomed path with wooden side railings and I saw no other plants like it in the area. I was able to remove a large piece of it from my five year old son's leg using my socks.

After some investigation I found that jumping cactuses do not actually jump however there are varieties that are fragile and disconnect easily that when even brushed slightly will stick firmly.  It is unknown whether the cactus was growing in the path and possibly kicked by my son or if it had broken off of a larger cactus and was lying in the path it hit his mid calf area strangely and quickly.  

I think there should be a warning sign in the area as this was a complete surprise while walking on a designated path. We entered the nature walkway at Kelly Drive and Park Drive and then walked approximately 400 yards when we were struck by the cactus.
Tapple February 03, 2014 at 09:55 AM
Warning! Life is full of adventures, especially for 5 year olds and sometimes they hurt; thank goodness 'dad' was nearby to help and console.
Gem March 02, 2014 at 11:28 AM
How about dad teaching his child to dress appropriately when walking on the trail systems around here. (NO shorts) Carlsbad doesn't need any more signs!


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