Kids are always known to be curious and love to explore their surroundings. However, curiosity is not always a good thing. A 4-year-old boy, Charlie from Fort Collins, Colorado was playing in the park when suddenly, he found a needle and picked it up. He accidentally poked his finger and now his mother worries that he might get infected.
It was a beautiful day in the park. Little Charlie was playing in the playground collecting and throwing pine cones under the tree when he spotted something on the ground. It was a hypodermic needle. When he decided to pick it up, he accidentally poked his finger with it.
Erin Johnson Gilmore who is Charlie’s mother never thought that such incident would happen to her son in a place where she thought should be safe for all.
Now, she fears that her son could be infected with a deadly infection like HIV or Hepatitis
She immediately reported about the discovery of the used needle to the City of Fort Collins. She was assured by the officials that the city council would conduct further investigation into the issue but to her disappointment, she was told it was quite common as the park’s crew are constantly faced with this kind of issue.
Erin also attempted to report the incident to the police but was left disappointed again when told: “unless someone intentionally poked him it is not a crime”
“That was super disheartening, the folks that should be keeping us safe told me it was no big deal,” Erin wrote on her Facebook.
After the incident, she quickly sent her son to the children’s hospital in Denver and the doctors told her that Charlie could risk being infected with HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C.
Even though the needle was quite small, it seemed like it had been ‘cooked’, a bad sign that it had been used by a drug user
Fortunately, Charlie is fully vaccinated and he has full protection against Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. However, it is uncertain whether or not he has been infected with HIV.
Furthermore, HIV and Hep C have a life span of less than a week outside of a host but there’s know way to know how long the needle had been in the park. The possibility of a needle that has been contaminated with HIV to transmit the virus to someone through an accidental prick is 0.23%
Charlie now has to have his blood tested at 6 weeks, 12 weeks and 6 months following the incident to confirm whether or not he has been infected with HIV.
“He wasn’t excited about the blood draw, there were some big tears, but we promised ice cream every time which helped!” said Erin
Following the unfortunate incident, Charlie’s parents urge other parents to be diligent and to keep an eye on their children, especially in a public place where abandoned and used objects like needles can be found and picked up by curious children.
“Parents PLEASE be diligent, watch where your kiddos play!” she warned.
Share this article to warn parents to always look after their kids and to take initiative in vaccinating them.
Sources: Facebook | Erin Johnson Gilmore