Mother concerned by needles, pills left by elementary school in Penticton

Needle by kids' classrooms

A concerned mom wants to give Penticton's parenting community a heads up after she found a needle in a naloxone kit right outside of her kids' classrooms on Wednesday morning.

“I'm taking my kids to school this morning and over by my Grade Two daughter's door that she usually goes in, it was sitting right there,” Ashley Smethurst explained.

It’s not the first time Smethurst has found drug paraphernalia at the school either, she says, spotting pipes and needles on the playground at Queen's Park Elementary in the past year.

While a naloxone kit is an important life-saving tool used to help reverse the effects of an overdose from opioids which many people carry, it was the needle left out in the open that concerned Smethurst.

“It's right there for the little ones to grab. And there was also a pill bottle and stuff there with it."

To dispose of a needle properly, avoid touching the tip of the needle and do not replace the cap on the needle. It's best to use gloves, tongs or tweezers and put the needle into a container. Needles should not be thrown in general trash bins.

The City of Penticton implemented drop boxes for needles on both private and public land, so all people who use needles can access safe disposal and that stray needles are dealt with safely and properly. Their Sharps Disposal Plan outlines where safe disposal sites are located.

Smethurst did notify the principal and the teacher, but also shared the message to Facebook for fellow parents to be aware.

“It’s the exact reason why I walk my kids to school every day to make sure that they're safe.”

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