Child finds used hypodermic needle discarded close to school

A discarded needle near Little Current Public School raises alarm bells for one young family.

LITTLE CURRENT—A young student who lives across the street from Little Current Public School made a disturbing discovery this past Monday (May 2); a discarded used hypodermic needle was lying in the ditch in front of his home. Luckily the young man used good sense and brought his mother’s attention to the find, rather than the find to his mother.

“My son found it today in the ditch,” said Nathan Stephens, who is currently working in Alberta while his family lives in Little Current. “It’s a scary thought, any kid leaving school could have found that.”

Mr. Stephens contacted The Expositor after his wife told him about the incident. “I immediately thought of you,” he said. “It is important to bring this to the attention of the public. It might get whoever carelessly discarded this to think twice, or at least allow people to be more vigilant.”

Mr. Stephans speculated that the needle was likely the cast-off of an illicit drug user. “Diabetics are usually a lot more careful of their medical supplies,” he said. “People on drugs don’t usually think things through very well.”

Mr. Stephens’ wife Lesley immediately disposed of the needle in a hospital sharps container. “She got rid of it right away,” said Mr. Stephens. “Maybe a photo with people in it would have more impact, but I think she was pretty upset and wanted it gone.”

While rural communities might seem insulated from such finds, addictions know no boundaries and the public is advised to remain alert. If a ditch across from a school yard is not sacrosanct, then local parks and green spaces cannot be deemed fully secure.

A needle exchange program is being contemplated for Manitoulin Island, which will hopefully reduce the probability of this kind of event reoccurring.