A nine-year-old girl walking her dog found a used hypodermic needle and syringe just outside her Langlee home on Sunday – just yards from the new primary school.
Luckily, Chelsea Mackay knew what to do ... she left it alone and told dad Craig Boddington.
He said: “My friendhas diabetes, and he gave me a container he uses for used needles, so I was able to dispose of it safely.
“But it’s getting worse around here. Just last week, a friend who lives across the main road saw her kid kicking a needle around in the bus shelter. It’s becoming a real issue ... if this was not dealt with, more than 200 kids would have been walking past it in the morning.”
Craig called the school the next morning to warn them.
A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council said: “Whilst the majority of people who access injecting equipment dispose of this safely, any reports of discarded needles in our community is a concern.
“The Scottish Borders Safer Communities team has a policy in place to ensure the safe and efficient removal of discarded sharps found in the community.
“Any member of the public who does discover a needle/syringe should follow this advice. Do not touch the needle or syringe, and do not try to put them in a litter bin or try to put them down the drain or flush down a toilet.
“Call 0300 100 1800 (during office hours) – SBC officers will come and dispose of them safely. If outwith office hours, call Police Scotland on 101.
“Remain nearby if possible to direct the collection or cover the item to prevent others coming into contact with it.”
If you are injured by a needle, the following first aid measures should be carried out:
● Encourage bleeding of the infected area by squeezing (do not suck)
● If possible, wash the area with soap and water
● If eyes/mouth are involved irrigate with tap water for 1-2 minutes
● Go to the nearest Health Centre or Accident and Emergency Department immediately who will assess risk and provide appropriate treatment where needed
● Inform your GP.
Users can exchange used injecting equipment for new equipment at eight injecting equipment providers across the Borders, listed at www.nhsborders.scot.nhs.uk/badp