An eight-year-old boy now faces months of medical treatment after he was stabbed with a needle someone left in the grass on an APS school playground.
The boy’s mom says her son was playing at recess when a used hypodermic needle stabbed the boy in the palm of his hand as he went to pick up a ball.
APS acknowledged the incident to KRQE News 13 Thursday, calling it a frightening and infuriating incident, and says it’s doing more to try to protect school campuses from similar incidents.
The incident happened Wednesday afternoon at Tomasita Elementary School near Eubank and I-40 in northeast Albuquerque.
“He tells me, ‘Mom, I accidentally just went to go pick up the football and it got stuck in my in my hand,’” said Amanda Armijo, the boy’s mother.
Armijo says her son Kyle was playing with the football in the school playground’s grass field when it happened during the lunch recess.
A photo provided by Armijo shows a red dot in the palm of Kyle’s hand. Armijo says she was told the needle appeared to have been used.
Armijo says her son will now have to take a regimen of harsh medication over the next six months to make sure he doesn’t contract a blood infection or another virus.
“That’s another thing that’s really scaring me, how do I explain to my son if that does occur?” said Armijo.
She says she’s upset that someone would toss a needle in a place where hundreds of kids play.
“That really worries me, because I have two little ones, one that’s about to start kindergarten,” said Armijo.
However, she’s also upset with the school’s response to the incident. Armijo says the school called Kyle’s father after it happened, but the school didn’t call an ambulance to get Kyle immediate medical treatment. She hopes sharing her family’s story can be a lesson for other parents.
“Make sure campus is clean and first and foremost make sure the student is OK,” said Armijo.
Albuquerque Public Schools sent the following statement about the incident:
“The safety of Albuquerque’s children is everyone’s responsibility. Albuquerque Public Schools partners closely with all public entities to protect students from very danger we have control over.
Like every urban community in America, Albuquerque has a challenging substance abuse problem. APS has maintenance crews that regularly scour playgrounds and adjacent parks for hazardous materials. APS has also added more fencing at some schools to keep trespassers off school property.
APS has and will continue to do everything it can to address this national health hazard. We agree this is a frightening, infuriating and perplexing problem.”
–Monica Armenta, Albuquerque Public Schools spokeswoman
The City of Albuquerque’s Parks and Recreation issued a reminder last week via Twitter that the public can report needles in city parks by calling 311 or by reporting the location of the needle through the OneABQ smartphone app.