Needle Safe Information
Discarded hypodermic needles have become a growing concern in Saskatoon. Too often they are found in parks, near playgrounds, and schools. The fear is that someone could be accidentally stuck by a needle infected with HIV, AIDS or Hepatitis. In 1998, Saskatoon Fire Department and Public Health Services Saskatoon jointly launched a needle pick-up program.
If you find a needle
Follow the steps below for safe pick up and disposal.
- Do not recap the needle.
- Wear garden, work or medical gloves.
- Use tweezers, pliers or tongs to pick up by the end that is not the sharp end. Keep away from your body.
- Place the needle, sharp end first, into a hard container that needles cannot poke through (e.g. liquid laundry detergent or bleach container).
- Fill a container no more than 3/4 full. If the container is too full, the needles may poke through the side.
- Put the container lid on tightly and tape it.
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Store the container in a safe place away from children until you can dispose of it safely.
- Do not place needles in city garbage or recycling.
- Place in a needle drop box in your community. Call 306-655-4444 for needle drop box locations or view the Needle Safe Brochure.
- Call 306-655-4664 if you do not have these clean-up items.
Ensure children understand they should never pick up needles.
If they find a discarded needle, they should notify an adult immediately.
If you are not comfortable handling or disposing of the needle yourself, please call:
Saskatoon Fire Department 306-975-3030
Public Health Services Saskatoon 306-655-4444
If you suffer a needle stick injury:
- encourage bleeding immediately and place your hand under running tap water to flush out the wound
- do not suck on the wound even if water is not available
- take careful note of the characteristics of the needle and injury (size, type, depth of penetration)
- do not recap the needle
- contact your doctor or hospital emergency department as soon as possible
- package the needle in a hard-surfaced, enclosed container and take it to the emergency department with you