Seven-year-old pricked with discarded needle in St Albans churchyard

PUBLISHED: 12:54 13 November 2020

File picture: A seven-year-old girl pricked herself on a needle found in the churchyard at St Peter's, St Albans.

File picture: A seven-year-old girl pricked herself on a needle found in the churchyard at St Peter's, St Albans.

Archant

A seven-year-old girl was treated in hospital after being pricked in the hand by a discarded syringe in a St Albans churchyard.

The incident occurred on Tuesday, November 3 in the grounds of St Peter’s Church, St Peter’s Street, while the youngster was playing near a tree next to the walled garden.

She suddenly ran up to her mother saying: “I have pricked my hand!”

She then took her to the used syringe, which appeared to have been discarded on the ground.

Her local mum, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she thought it was important to raise awareness of the dangers of used needles left in the churchyard.

“I’d like to warn other parents to be extra cautious when their children are playing in the churchyard.

“I’ve since heard of previous instances of needles being found there, so it’s obviously not a one-off.”

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The child was tested for any infection at hospital the same day, but will have to go return in three months for follow-up tests.

She is booked in for a Hepatitis B vaccination next week.

After being alerted by the Herts Ad, the leadership of the church said: “We are very sad to hear about the incident involving a child being pricked by a needle in the churchyard.

“Now this has been brought to our attention, we are praying for the child and family.

“The council is responsible for maintaining the churchyard and we also have a team of volunteers who work hard to try and keep the space tidy so that it can be enjoyed by the public.

“Over the last couple of years the team have particularly focused on clearing areas of brambles and nettles and creating more open spaces in the churchyard to try to reduce unsociable behaviour.

“We are in contact with the council to discuss any further measures that can be taken.”

The Health and Safety Executive warns: “Needles and syringes collected in public places have also been proven to contain blood-borne virus (BBV) contamination, such materials should never be handled if found, but should be reported to the local authority responsible for the site.”


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