A young Central Coast family face a nervous wait after their three-year-old son stepped on a discarded needle at a popular local beach.
Beth Finlay, 33, had been carrying little Cashten down the trail towards Umina Beach when she decided to place the barefoot youngster back on the ground.
What came next was every parent’s worst nightmare.
“He just started saying ‘ouch, ouch’ but he wasn’t crying, I thought he had just stepped on a rock,” Mrs Finlay told Yahoo7 News.
“I didn’t expect to see a needle penduluming from one side to the other.
“It was lodged in his foot.”
Mrs Finlay said she tried to remain calm as the pulled the discarded needle that was lodged one centimetre deep in her son’s foot.
“I didn’t want to send him into a state of panic but when I brushed the sand off it and he could see the blood, he started to panic a bit,” she added.
The hypodermic needle wasn’t attached to any syringe, but that wasn’t going to stop the anxious mother from taking every possible precaution.
“I handed the needle into the surf lifesavers so they could dispose of it in a sharp container,” Mrs Finlay said.
“I took him to the medical centre, they looked at it, dressed it and said he would have to come back in the next day for blood tests.
Cashten has since undergone blood tests and while the initial results for Hepatitis B, Hepatits C and HIV came back negative, they will have to wait nine months to know he is completely in the clear.
“It (HIV) can take a while to show up, so we have to go back and do the six month and nine month tests,” Mrs Finlay added.
While Cashten has overcome his limp that plagued him for a few days, his mum said he has developed a small phobia of the beach.
“We’re going to have troubles getting him back there, he’s constantly telling us we can’t go back to the beach because there’s needles there."