A MUM-OF-THREE whose daughter was pricked in the face by a discarded syringe while playing with friends has described the ordeal as her "worst nightmare".
Jaya Dalling, 6, was playing with friends outside The Salvation Army Centre in Oakleigh Road, Barnstaple, last Wednesday.
It was the first time the youngster had been allowed to play in the street with friends and now mum Samantha Gammon says it has put her off letting her play out in future.
Forches Cross Primary School pupil Jaya was being watched from a distance by her grandmother while playing with around six other children by the recycling bins.
Police said a boy found the syringe in a Salvation Army clothing bin and, while playing "swords", accidentally pricked Jaya in the face with it.
She started crying and told her grandmother what had happened. She immediately called the police.
PCSO Al Summers took the girl and her father to North Devon District Hospital, where she had a blood test.
The youngster, who has a four-year-old brother and 20-month-old sister, was given the all-clear, but will need hepatitis booster jabs for the next three months.
Mum Samantha, of Forches Avenue, described it as "a mother's worst nightmare".
She said: "It's the first time I've let her out to play and it's put me off to be honest. It was horrible, such an emotional day.
"She's young to be out playing but her nan was keeping an eye on her. It could have happened anywhere at any time."
The 25-year-old said she had since sat the youngster down and explained the dangers of syringes and needles.
She said: "I've told her she must never touch anything like that again.
"I just want to make sure other parents and children are aware that users will dump them anywhere."
PCSO Summers removed the syringe from the scene and said no other needles were found. He said: "We'd appeal to all parents to have a chat with their children about what they should do if they find anything like this and just about general safety.
"Kids are kids and sometimes they climb on these bins."
Anyone who finds a discarded syringe should call environmental health on 01271 388870.