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Fears after 11-year-old boy punctures foot on needle on beach

PUBLISHED: 08:17 30 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:19 30 August 2019

Lowestoft's South Beach

Lowestoft's South Beach

Archant

A boy was rushed to hospital after a needle punctured his shoe and went into his foot following a walk on the beach, prompting a warning in the town.

The 11-year-old was walking on Lowestoft's South Beach with his grandmother on Wednesday, August 28, when a needle pierced through his cloth shoe and punctured his skin.

In a panic, the boy was rushed to the lifeguard's tower to get the wound cleaned before he was taken to the James Paget University Hospital for blood tests, a hepatitis B vaccine and was in A and E for two hours.

The Lowestoft grandmother, who did not wish to be named, said: "We were walking along the beach and the needle went straight through his cloth shoe and into the toe.

"He is 11, so if I didn't see it he probably would have carried on.

"He was really embarrassed to go to hospital and I still don't think he understands it.

"He knows not to touch needles, but we don't go through that kind of details with children," she said.

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For the next two months, the boy will need regular vaccines once a month and will also undergo a HIV test in two months time.

However, the risk of contracting the disease through a needle prick is extremely rare.

Following the shock, his grandmother issued a warning to the community to be vigilant of needles hidden in the sand or in local parks.

She also urged the community to wear thicker trainers while walking on the sea shore.

She said: "People need to be vigilant - you're never going to stop someone doing drugs so where can these people go to use needles and discard them?

"People have messaged me about it and it seems people have found needles in Sparrows Nest, Nicholas Everitt Park and Hill Road so it's clearly a wide spread town problem.

"The people that use needles are not going to change, so I don't understand why there isn't a place they can use them.

"This is a big problem, there is no safe place for our children anymore."

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