Orem police warn parents after young girl pokes self with needle found near school

Posted at 6:11 PM, Feb 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-18 20:11:26-05

OREM, Utah -- Police in Orem are warning parents to be on the lookout for dirty needles after a 6-year-old accidentally poked herself with one last week.

"There was a young child at Sharon Elementary who found a needle that wasn't capped," said Lieutenant B.J. Robinson. "She picked it up and was trying to put the cap back on it when she pricked her finger."

Now Lt. Robinson said the family fears what may have been on the needle. He confirms that the family is waiting for test results to come back to make sure their child is healthy.

"That's alarming," said Miguel Monroy, a father who visited a park adjacent to Sharon Elementary School on Saturday. "Now that you mention that, I'll make sure they don't wander off and pick things up."

Speaking to neighbors in the area, they said they are concerned that drug use and crime is a growing problem.

"They're shooting up out here, and shooting guns," said Judeth McCullen, a nearby resident. "The little toddlers run around barefoot or maybe have socks on," she added, concerned about kids' safety around needles.

If you come across a needle, Lt. Robinson said, "if you're nervous at all, call police. Even us law enforcement officers are cautioned not to put the cap back on the needle. That's usually when you get stuck."

Lt. Robinson said children should never pick up a needle, but instead should tell an adult. If an adult chooses to do pick it up, he encourages them to throw them away without the cap on to avoid getting poked.

"Disposing it is key," Lt. Robinson added, reminding folks to not throw needles into plastic trash bags because someone else may get jabbed later on.