A LYME Regis mother has launched a campaign for sharps bins to be installed in public toilets in the town, after her three-year-old son found a used needle on the street.
Child-minder and mother of three, Jayne Mace, has launched a petition after her youngest son Morgan picked up the needle and put it in his mouth, having found it on the footpath between Anning Road and Staples Terrace while he was looking for snails.
Morgan had been walking behind his mother when he picked up the needle. He showed it to his mum, with the needle in one hand and its cap in the other, sparking an instant panic that he may have pricked himself.
After admitting that he had put it in his mouth, Morgan’s father Stuart Goldsmith took him to A&E on doctor’s advice, where they checked the needle and discovered it had been used and had dried blood on it.
Morgan was given a tetanus booster and blood tests and the family now have a painstaking two-week wait for the results, followed by another three months after which the toddler will have to undergo further blood tests, as some infections take longer to show in blood.
Jayne commented: “Three months of stress and worry for our family, all because someone was lazy or careless with their needle. Whether it was illegal drugs or prescription medication we have no idea and, to be honest, either option scares me.”
Jayne described the incident as her “worst fear come true” and has now launched an online petition, calling for sharps bins to be installed in all Lyme Regis public toilets, for the safe disposal of needles.
“Drugs aren’t just in big cities they are in our towns too,” she added.
The petition has already been supported by more than 130 people and can be found online at www.change.org/p/locals-lyme-regis-to-install-secure-used-sharps-bins-in-public-toilets
Following the incident, Public Health Dorset made the following statement via Dorset Council: “This is a terrible thing to have happened, and the family have our sympathy.
“We work in line with the latest evidence and government guidance, and there are safe options for disposal of needles across the county – including in Lyme; we can explore installing public sharps bins in Lyme as we have done in other areas.
“We can also do some specific outreach and education work in Lyme to understand how this happened and raise awareness of how needles should be disposed of.
“We are working with partners to explore how we might reduce drug-related litter across the county, including discussions of safer injecting facilities / drug consumption rooms.
“We continue to implement and explore broader interventions to reduce injecting drug use in general.