OREM — A warning from Orem police after a 6-year-old girl picked up a used syringe on a school playground and was pricked by the needle. It happened Wednesday at Sharon Elementary School.
"She went to put the cap on the syringe, because the cap was lying next to it, and unfortunately the little girl was stuck in the finger,” said Orem Police Lt. Craig Martinez.
The needle prick was deep enough to draw blood. The girl told her parents, who called police.
“Obviously, the parents are doing all the necessary steps to make sure the girl is going to be OK, and they have done all of that yesterday," Martinez said.
Police aren't sure, but fear it's likely the needle was from drug use. Neighbors said they're not used to seeing illegal drug activity.
“I have never seen anything fishy like that around here, so it is a surprise to me,” said resident Jordan Langston.
The school is bordered by Sharon Park, where there is a good amount of litter in the park that curious kids might want to pick up. School officials acknowledge it is a discussion that teachers and parents need to have with children on a regular basis.
"It is really imperative for parents to talk with their children about things that are safe, things that are unsafe, and what do you do with something that is unsafe,” said Kimberly Bird of the Alpine School District. “Reminding kids when you see something that doesn't look safe, go and tell an adult,”
Still, the fact the needle was left on school grounds is frustrating to police.
"I mean, who leaves a needle with the cap off right next to a dumpster?” Martinez said. “Drug addicts don't necessarily care about themselves, why are they going to care about anybody else?"
The girl will be monitored closely over the next six months, to check for any symptoms of infectious disease.
Contributing: Xoel Cardenas