A family has an anxious year ahead after their little girl stood on a hypodermic needle on a Gold Coast beach.
A day enjoying the sun and surf at Currumbin on Tuesday came to a horrifying end for the McDermid family of Southport when four-year-old Tigerlily screamed in pain.
Graham and Carmen McDermid turned to see a hypodermic needle sticking out of Tigerlily’s right foot.
The family of four were just 100m north of the flagged area at Currumbin Vikings Surf Life Saving Club.
Shocked at the sight, the distressed parents had to pull the dirty needle out of the child’s foot.
“She was screaming in agony, lifting her leg up,” Mr McDermid said.
This should remind us of the dangers associated with discarded needles, that have a high risk of bloodborne virus infection. If infection does not occur, and of course we hope that will be the outcome in this case, severe, prolonged and sometimes debilitating anxiety can be devastating, for the individual and for family members.
It also reminds us that the most dangerous are those needles that become hidden in soft sand or long grass, especially in circumstances where individuals might reasonably expect to walk in safety while barefoot. At other times, discarded sharps can be covered in a snowfall, though walking barefoot might then be a rather foolhardy action. And don’t forget all of those sharps “lost” within plastic waste sacks.
Good luck Tigerlily!