Last night we learned the hard way about needle safety, while playing a McBurney Park (aka. Skeleton Park).
We were visiting the park after school as usual, and Kohen came running up to me. He said in an excited voice with a smile on his face:
Kohen: "We found some needles. Ryann poked herself with it."
Me: "WHAT? You found what? You found needles? Where? How? She poked herself? Where?"
Kohen: "It was an accident. She poked her finger. She tried to get me and Scarlett to poke our fingers too".
Me: Looking at my friends: "Shit. What do I do now" "Tell Ryann to come here very fast". I then call Jamin who has a mini panic attack on the phone and drives over very quickly.
Ryann comes over and indeed she poked herself in her finger (right near a cut that was already open). We take her to wash her hands and go find the needles. The needles were laying on the ground right under a tree. A tree kids regularly under and around.
Jamin took Ryann to the Children's Outpatient at Hotel Dieu. The kids and I stay at the park, hang out for a while and then head over to play with friends.
The doctors took some blood (several vials) and then let us know that the probability of a serious infection/disease is very minimal but we should check blood for the next several months as a precaution - agreed!
It was a scary incident for everyone involved. All the other parents at the park used this as a teaching lesson for their children and I wanted to share this with you so that you can teach children as well. Adults were on edge and so were the kids.
We spoke with all three of our older children about needles and how they should never touch them if they find. They should immediately come find an adult and let them know.
Why? Why? They ask. We explained to our children that sometimes people who use needles are sick. When they poke the needle into their blood, the blood can stay on the needle. If we get some of the sick blood in our blood (by poking ourselves with the needle too) we could also get sick.
Lesson learned. When living in the city or near a city, teach your kids about needle safety. There has been little incidents similar to this in the neighborhood for quite some time. Last I heard about it was several years ago when all my children were young. It had never occurred to me to teach them about needle safety. Now we know. Now we can be safer.
Please share this with your family and friends, especially those with young children.