A family faces an agonising two-month wait after a discarded hypodermic needle became embedded in their poorly son’s hand.
Four-year-old Elliot Cayton, from Leyland, was playing with his older brother when he found the syringe in bushes where they were building a den.
The youngster, who suffers from a congenital heart defect and is fed with a tube, was rushed to hospital and now his family faces a terrifying wait to see if he has contracted anything.
Mum Hayley Cayton says she has been left traumatised by the incident. She said: “Elliot had been out playing with his older brother, Harrison and friend, Jerome, and I had told him he wasn’t to go from the front of the house.
“But as I left to go back into the kitchen they ran off to Norfolk Close and found a bush with a hole in it where they had made a den.
“The next thing I knew, Harrison came running home saying Elliot had a piece of wood stuck in his hand.”
When Hayley, 30, got to Elliot, the piece of wood turned out to be a hypodermic needle.
She said: “It is every parent’s worst nightmare, Elliot was screaming and there was blood pouring from his hand.
“My husband, John, bundled him into the car and took him straight to hospital where they rushed him through to do blood test.”
The youngster was tested for hepatitis at Chorley hospital and now faces an agonising eight week wait to find out if he has contracted any disease.
Hayley, who looks after Elliot, Harrison, seven, and their 10-year-old brother, Mackenzie, who also suffers from multiple medical conditions is now calling on schools to talk to youngsters about the dangers of picking up foreign objects.
“When I asked him if he fell on it or whether he picked it up, he said he had picked it up thinking it was a ‘squirter’ like the ones we use for his medicine,” said Hayley.
“I was speaking to a teacher at his school and they said there was a policeman in telling the children about stranger danger but I think children need to be taught not to pick things up that look dangerous.”
South Ribble Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for neighbourhood services, Coun Peter Mullineaux, said: “We were notified of this unfortunate incident on Monday, and sent someone out immediately to clean up and check the surrounding area, where we found and disposed of two further discarded needles. “Therefore I’d urge anyone who finds drug debris in South Ribble to let us know straight away.”