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My son trod on drugs needle
9:10am Wednesday 4th September 2013 in News
A MUM has spoken of her horror after her son stood on a used drugs needle as he played on a Southend beach.
Ronny Parry, eight, was taken to hospital and given emergency treatment for potential blood infections after he stood on the needle as he played on the play area near Adventure Island.
The youngster is now recovering at home in Pitsea, but mum Rebecca Snape, 26, wants to warn other families to be vigilant when playing on the seafront.
She said: “Ronny had been playing near the sea when he came running over with the needle stuck in his foot.
“He pulled it out of his foot and I could see it was a drugs needle.
“We took him straight to Basildon Hospital, where he was given a Hepatitis B injection and he has been prescribed a course of antibiotics.
“I just felt sick with worry.I am terrified of needles anyway and when I saw that it was a drugs needle, I had all sorts of things running through my head.
“There are so many blood infections, including things like HIV.
“I am disgusted that people would use drugs and leave their dirty needles lying round at a place where children go to play.”
Ms Snape said her son had been left extremely upset by the incident. She said: “He was upset and very panicky.
“I have never yet had to explain to him about drugs, and luckily I don’t think he knew what the needle was.
“I really just want to warn people to be vigilant when they are at the beach with their children.
“It has been quite an ordeal.”
Tory Southend councillor Tony Cox, who is responsible for cleaning on beaches, said: “It is extremely rare potentially dangerous items like syringes are picked up and the play area is treated in the same way as the rest of the seven miles of seafront, with our beach cleansing team continuously working seven days a week from 6am to 10pm.
“As well as clearing the litter, the team, along with foreshore officers and away from the beach, CCTV officers, are trained to be particularly vigilant for hazardous items, although these are not necessarily easy to spot if partially covered by sand or shingle.”
Deborah Jack, chief executive of the National Aids Trust, has asked us to add her comment on this report:
"Although standing on a needle would undoubtedly be distressing and does have some health risks, the risk of catching HIV is virtually non-existent.
"There has never been a recorded case anywhere in the world of someone being infected with HIV through a needle injury in a public place. HIV is a very fragile virus that lives outside the body for only a matter of moments.
"I hope that goes some way to reassure your readers. If you would like to find out more facts about HIV please visit www.hivaware.org.uk"
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