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Used syringes: what to do to prevent accidents and the transmission of infections

If you find a used syringe, you must take precautions to prevent accidents and the possible transmission of infections. You can pick the syringe up safely yourself or contact Info-Santé 811 to arrange for it to be picked up.

Teach your children that they should never touch a syringe. Tell them to let an adult know right away if they find one.

How to pick a syringe up safely

If you find a syringe, pick it up safely by following these steps. Be careful because there might be other syringes nearby.

Step 1

Get a thick, hard plastic container with a lid that closes. For example, you can use an empty peanut butter jar or a yogurt or margarine container.

Do not use glass containers because they could break.

Choose a container with a fairly large opening because you could injure yourself if the opening is too small.

Open the container and place it near the syringe.

Step 2

Pick up the syringe carefully by the blunt end so that the needle is pointing away from your body.

Even if you find the syringe cap, do not try to put it back on the needle because you could injure yourself.

Place the syringe into the container.

Step 3

Close the lid tightly.

Step 4

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

Step 5

Take the container to a CLSC or pharmacy.

Never throw a container with a syringe in it in a recycling bin or garbage can because other people could injure themselves.

If you cannot find a container to put the syringe in and transport it safely, do not touch it and call Info-Santé 811.

If you accidentally injure yourself

If you injure yourself with a used syringe:

  • Clean the wound with soap and water.
  • See a doctor as soon as possible, preferably within 2 hours. For example, you can go to an emergency room. As soon as you get there, tell the staff that you have injured yourself with a used syringe.

Last update: September 22, 2017


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