A FOUR-YEAR-OLD boy stabbed by a discarded syringe in Cork city must wait for six months to find out if he has been infected as a result.
Little Derek Kavanagh was playing with friends on a green area in Araglen Court in Togher on Tuesday evening, when he was pricked while sitting on the grass.
He ran in to his nearby home in tears, telling his mum Danielle Austin that he had sat on glass.
However, Danielle became concerned when she saw the tiny prick and realised he had sat on a discarded syringe after he described the item that had stabbed him as being long and silver. She and Derek's dad Dereck rushed to Cork University Hospital with their son, where he was tested and given injections to tackle infections such as hepatitis.
He will be tested again in six months time to establish if he picked up any infection from the syringe.
Danielle posted a photograph of her son in hospital on Facebook after the incident, to show heroin users the consequences of carelessly discarding syringes.
She said that as parents, one of the toughest things she and Dereck endured in recent days was watching their son being "poked and prodded" in hospital because of having been pricked by the syringe.
She added: "He is very sore but he is back to himself."
It is not known how long the syringe was in the green area. But she said that an adult discovered a syringe in the same area last August.
Danielle praised local gardaí for carrying out regular partrols in the area even before Tuesday's incident. She did not report the incident to gardaí because she said they are already regularly in the area.
And she said that it is impossible to watch children 24 hours a day but she wanted to warn other parents of what could happen to their children.
She described her son, who will be five in July, as "the bravest little boy in the world".