Preschool Didn't Notice Used Syringes in Toy Doctor's Kit

syringeEvery so often, I start out writing about something with one opinion ... and end up forming a very different opinion halfway through. That's what happened with this story. See what you think.

When I first heard about the little kids at a New Mexico preschool who got punctured with (possibly used, definitely real) syringes while playing with what was supposed to be a pretend doctor's kit, it didn't occur to me to blame the teachers. After all, the box of medical supplies had been donated to the school as toy. It probably didn't cross the minds of the grown-ups in charge to check under the stethoscopes and gauze pads to see if any stray syringes were lurking in the bottom of the box (which is where the two needles were).

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I mean, why would anybody donate syringes to a preschool anyway?

But then I reviewed the facts. The school doesn't actually know who donated the box of medical supplies. Huh? So where did it come from? Don't tell me the teachers just found a random box of Band-Aids and blood pressure cuffs on the preschool's doorstep and figured, "Hey, free doctor's kit!"

Even the city -- and this is a city-run preschool -- has no idea who "donated" the box, though they're currently "investigating." Maybe there's a designated drop-off spot or dumpster at the school where parents can leave toys their kids don't play with anymore, but even then, I'd think that a box of medical supplies left by a mystery donor would warrant a thorough examination.

I hope more details of this story come to light, and soon. Because what we know so far -- that a bunch of preschoolers got stabbed with (used??) syringes because the adults entrusted with their care were, well, beyond careless -- is disturbing, to say the least. And I want to go back to thinking this was an unfortunate mishap involving well-meaning teachers and a friendly local pediatrician's office where a couple of needles accidentally fell into a box of surplus supplies marked "for the preschool."

How do you think these preschoolers ended up getting exposed to such a dangerous "donation"?

 

Image via Yaniv Ben-Arie/Flickr

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