A seven-year-old girl is being tested for HIV after pricking her finger on a drug-user’s discarded needle.
Tia Parish was playing just yards from the family’s Netherfield home in Alphabet Park when she found the needle under a children’s slide and pricked her finger on it.
She now faces a series of tests to check she has not been infected with HIV.
Dad Paul Parish told the Citizen: “Tia was playing when she found the needle. It wasn’t a whole needle, just the top of it, and Tia pricked herself with it.
“Her finger started bleeding so she licked it.
“As soon as she told us we rushed her to hospital, and they tested her for HIV, and Hepatitis B and C, with a blood test.
“She will have to have tests every three months for the next 18 months. The hardest thing is the waiting and the not knowing.”
He added: “It hasn’t affected Tia because she doesn’t fully understand. But for us as a family it is hard.”
The family are full of praise for Woughton Parish Council, which they say have been “fantastic” in calling to check on the family and doing checks of the park to look for more needles.
But they admit that the authorities are in a difficult position if drug-users do not dispose of their needles properly, which they can do at the sharps bin at Coral’s, at the local chemists, or at the drugs clinic in Broadlands.
Now they want to educate drug-users to think twice before throwing their needles away into bushes or other public places.
Mr Parish added: “I hope that it will make them realise that they could be putting a child’s life at risk.
“Children don’t know what needles are, or the dangers they can cause. And even those who do won’t recognise the end of a needle which is what Tia picked up.
“There are places that they can dispose of their needles –throwing it in the bushes is just laziness and selfishness.”