A WARNING has gone out to parents after a five-year-old boy was rushed to hospital after stepping on a hypodermic needle on a beach in Lyme Regis.

The boy and his family had visited Lyme Regis from their Somerset home and was playing football on the sandy part of Front Beach with his family at approximately 2.30pm on Saturday afternoon, March 16, when he stood on the needle.

His family rushed to nearby Jane’s Cafe to use the phone to call an ambulance, and took their son to the Accident and Emergency department at Dorset County Hospital, where he had a vaccination against Hepatitis B.

He must now undergo four more injections over the next 12 months to protect him against the potentially fatal disease.

Elliott Herbert, the town council’s operations manager said: “It saddens me to hear that this unfortunate incident has happened on our beach, which is so popular with families, and we hope there will be no repeat of this.

“I have been in touch with the boy’s mother and we understand this is a very difficult and upsetting time for the family.

“The council makes every effort to ensure the beach is in a pristine condition. The beach was thoroughly cleaned on Friday morning and I have also spoken with our litter picker to check if he has come across any other needles, and he confirmed that he hadn't.

“The police have been notified and it is been logged on our complaints and incidents.”

Speaking to the Lyme Regis News, the mother of the boy, who wanted to stay anonymous, said she wanted to warn other parents of the possible dangers.

She said: “Please, please be careful when you and your friends, children and family are playing at the beach.

“My darling little man stood on a hypodermic needle yesterday while we were playing football in the sand at Lyme Regis.

“The care we got from the ambulance service and Dorchester hospital was amazing but I cannot stress how worrying and terrible the situation was and is.

“Please take this as a warning as I don’t want any other poor child or person to go through what we have this weekend.

She added: “I have to say Lyme Regis Town Council and Elliott Herbert have been absolutely brilliant, they couldn’t have done anything more to help us and have bent over backwards for us, so I would like to thank them, and Jane’s Cafe as well, for helping us.”

Kelly Hutchings-Payne, from Jane’s Cafe on the seafront, said: “The needle he stepped on was quite a big one, it was quite long and it was definitely hypodermic. It was just the needle and there was no other casing.

“The whole family were absolutely distraught. They came up to the cafe to use our phone to call 999.

“I have worked at this cafe for six years and I haven’t seen anything like this before. We were really surprised by it and we are all so worried about the little boy.”