Waiting worry after syringe spikes foot at playground

PLAY DANGER: A day out at the swings has turned into a nightmare for a local family.
PLAY DANGER: A day out at the swings has turned into a nightmare for a local family. Peter Gardiner

The sharps bin is missing from the wall of the men's toilets.

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

His mother, who wants to be known only as Megan, is distraught and angry that someone could be thoughtless enough to discard the used needle, which was lying around outside the public toilet beside the children's play area.

While the mother, who takes her two young sons regularly to the swings to play, has never seen any used syringes lying around before, the likelihood of a needle-stick injury has been possibly heightened by a vandal.

WHEN the Noosa News inspected the site at Sunshine Beach last Thursday, the sharps container for used syringes in the men's toilet was missing, apparently having been ripped from the wall.

"My little boy just went to run around the back of the toilet, just in front of the grassed area.

"He was up on the main sidewalk, which is the main walking path.

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

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 basically just 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 says council does what it can by putting the used syringe containers in toilets and carrying out regular clean-ups of the toilet and play area.

"When I walked the boys there when they were babies, I used to see someone (from council) there every morning and everything would get cleaned up if there was anything there."

She said she was there on Wednesday with her two boys at 3pm and "there would have been a ton of people who would have walked past".

"If it wasn't us, it was going to be someone else."

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

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