Canadian children undergo HIV testing after being pricked with discarded needle at school

A Canadian mother is cautioning other parents after multiple children — including her daughter — were pricked by potentially infected needles at their school. 

Amy Slater took to Facebook Wednesday with the story of her five-year-old daughter, Lily, who encountered the needles while playing in the schoolyard at Toronto's St. Vincent de Paul Catholic school

"It's usually a happy story post here on social media for us, but today, not so much," Slater's post read. "Today, Lily and her kindergarten friends found some needles left behind by drug users in our schoolyard."

The mother went on to explain that Lily and at least two kindergarteners were wounded by the needles, and that they were forced to spend an entire day at the hospital with "with many tests and many tears." She said Lily had undergone testing for numerous diseases — including hepatitis B — and will now have to endure four weeks of HIV treatment. 

Police said the incident occurred Wednesday morning and that the children were likely stabbed when reaching for the discarded syringes, which were on the other side of their schoolyard fence. Authorities used the opportunity to warn parents and their children about the dangers of interacting with abandoned needles. 

"Children should be advised to not touch syringes and to notify an adult immediately. Adults should then exercise caution if they decide to remove the syringe, and call [emergency operators] to request a pickup," Toronto police said.

Slater, who said the HIV treatments will likely make her daughter sick, issued a further warning. "This message is not intended to gain sympathy for us, but rather a plea to talk to your children about the dangers of touching needles ... no matter how young they are," her post said.

Speaking with Toronto's CTV News, Lily shared her own thoughts on the experience.

"No touching needles," the 5-year-old said when asked what she'd learned from the ordeal.

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