Two families are anxiously waiting to have their children tested for disease after the children punctured themselves with used needles that were found while they were playing near their home in Perth’s north.
Daniel Lekis and his wife panicked when they were told by a neighbour that their two boys — aged six and seven — and the neighbour’s son had found two syringes on the footpath at a vacant block behind their house on Corinda Way, Ridgewood, just before dinner time on Friday, March 16, reported 7News.
Their neighbour Jodi Timms overheard the three boys talking about what happened and she questioned them about it.
“I went over there and said, you know, ‘what are you guys talking about?’” Timms explained to 7 News Perth.
“They got a bit sheepish and one of the boys pulled out a syringe from his pocket.”
The mother-of-three was horrified and immediately told their parents who rushed their boys to Joondalup Health Campus.
Lekis’ two boys and their 5-year-old friend were all pricked by the needles, reported the news station.
“It’s not something I really want my kids to go through … or anyone’s children,” Lekis said.
“If the kids do catch something, their lives will change.
“I’m grateful that she was there and actually did pick up on it,” he added.
Now the children will need to wait for six weeks before they can be tested for Hepatitis B, C, and HIV. They will then need to be tested again six weeks after that.
Doctors told the parents that the wounds are shallow and it is unlikely that the boys caught anything, reported the news station.
Lekis said the children will not be playing in that area again.
The Australian Department of Health has advised that anyone who has found a syringe has a number of options for disposal.
“The preferred option for disposal is to contact the Needle Clean Up Hotline or local council in your area,” the department said.
The department has also provided some instructions on how to dispose of a syringe if you want to do it yourself:
– Take a hard plastic container with a screw top and place it on the ground beside the needle and syringe.
– Keeping away from the sharp end of the needle, carefully pick up the syringe by the barrel.
– Needle point first, put the syringe into the container and seal it tightly.
– Place the container in a needle and syringe disposal bin if there is one nearby or contact the Needle Clean Up Hotline or local council in your area.