AIDS Action’s Statement on Students finding Syringe Outside Lynn School
Posted Mar 31 2011 4:13pm
AIDS Action President Praises Officials In Lynn
Public health and safety should be the top priority when dealing with syringes
BOSTON, March 31, 2011—Rebecca Haag, President & CEO of AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts today praised public officials in Lynn for their response to the news that two second grade students had been stuck by a syringe while playing with one that had been found by one of the students. Lynn school officials immediately notified police, who organized an educational forum for students explaining that if they find dangerous objects such as syringes, broken glass, matches, lighters, and knives in the street, they should not pick them up and should instead tell an adult.
“This is exactly what public officials need to do. We need to educate our children and their parents about how to deal with foreign objects that might be found on our streets or in other public locations. Education and prevention programs can reduce risk and increase public health and safety,” said Haag.
AIDS Action has long advocated for the need for better syringe disposal programs in the state. There has been progress: the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has installed approximately 100 syringe disposal kiosks in cities and towns with high rates of injection drug use. Additionally, communities with syringe exchange programs have seen high rates of return for used syringes, which has resulted in a decrease in the number of used syringes that are improperly discarded
AIDS Action urges anyone who has been accidentally stuck with a syringe to consult with their doctor about the appropriate medical response. Questions or concerns can also be directed to AIDS Action’s statewide hotlines on HIV (1-800-235-2331) and Hepatitis C (1-888-443-4372).