The mother of a three-year-old boy who stepped on a hypodermic needle at a beach fears her son could be infected with HIV.
Beth Finlay and her son, Cashten, had just stepped into the sand at Umima Beach on the Central Coast, New South Wales, on Sunday when he was stabbed in the foot by the sharp object.
The pair were heading towards the ocean in front of the surf lifesaving club when Cashten cried out in pain, the Daily Telegraph reports.
A three-year-old boy stepped on a rogue hypodermic needle at a New South Wales beach on Sunday, his mother now fearing he could be infected with HIV (file photo used)
‘We were a couple of metres from that path way when he’s gone “Ow, Ow, Ow”. The needle was sticking out of his foot,’ she said.
After refusing to have his wound washed in the ocean, the mother decided she would take Cashten to the doctor first thing Monday morning.
The horrified parent was told it could be up to a six-month wait to find out if her son had been infected.
‘It’s two days (wait) for some results and six months for HIV,’ she said.
‘It’s unlikely but it’s a worry you don’t want to have at the back of your mind all because of someone else’s stupidity.’
She said Cashten had been confused at getting blood test needles following his negative encounter the previous day.
Beth Finlay and her son, Cashten, were at Umima Beach on the Central Coast on Sunday when he was stabbed in the foot by the sharp object
Ms Finlay said the discarded medical tool, which had no syringe attached and was about four centimetres long, was the last thing she expected to see at the busy beach.
‘I would expect it more at the park next to (the beach), or the skate park or something but not on the beach,’ she said.
The mother hopes to warn others of the potential dangers looming beneath the sand and encourage parents to keep shoes on their kids.
NSW Health recommended needle injury victims stay calm and not squeeze the wound, allowing it to bleed while washing it with soap and water, before going to a doctor or emergency department.
‘The risk of acquiring a serious infection as a result of an accidental injury from a community sharp is extremely low, however you should still seek medical advice,’ a department fact sheet reads.