HIV fear after child jabbed by syringe

CONCERN: The Noosa park where a four-year-old boy stepped on a discarded blood-filled syringe.
CONCERN: The Noosa park where a four-year-old boy stepped on a discarded blood-filled syringe. CONTRIBUTED

A NOOSA couple face a nightmare two-month wait to see if their four-year-old son has contracted HIV or some other blood-borne illness after a discarded syringe stuck in his foot while he was playing in the main village park.

His mother, who wants to be referred to as Megan, is distraught and angry that someone could be thoughtless enough to discard the bloodied needle outside a public toilet beside a children's play area.

And while the mother, who regularly takes her two young sons to the swings to play, has never seen any used syringes lying around before, the danger may have been exacerbated by the actions of a vandal.

When the Sunshine Coast Daily inspected the site, the sharps container for used syringes was missing from the men's toilet - apparently having been ripped from the wall.

"My little boy... was up on the main sidewalk, which is the main walking path," she said.

"Within a couple of seconds he came running back crying, with a man following up after him."

The man told her: "I'm so sorry, your son just stepped on this, I've just pulled it out of his foot".

Megan said: "At the time I was just terrified, because it was the end of a syringe tip, and there was blood in it and it was dirty and my boy's just stepped on it."

She said the needle had gone right into her son's foot.

"We raced to the doctor's office and had some blood tests and now we have to have some more blood tests at two months and then some more at six months," she said.

"Blood tests aren't particularly nice for anyone, let alone a four-year-old. That wasn't pleasant.

"For the next two months it's going to be a bit painful."

Megan said "council does what they can" by putting the used syringe containers in toilets and carrying outregular clean ups of the toilet and play area.

The family was trying to stay positive.

Megan said from internet research they had done since Wednesday's needle stick injury, "it seems the chances of anything horrible happening is quite unlikely".

Noosa Council CEO Brett de Chastel said staff regularly checked and maintained the toilets.

"If they've been vandalised and we're alerted to it, we'll fix them as quick as we can. And that's what we will do in this case."

Mr de Chastel said he felt for the family and what they were going through.

Topics:  editors picks hiv syringe

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