Used Needles + Condoms

Used Needles + Condoms

If you handle a used needle or condom properly, there is no health risk. Teach children never to touch condoms or needles that they find, and to ask an adult for help.

Dispose of used needles + condoms safely

  • Don’t touch used needles with your bare hands. Wear disposable gloves or washable rubber gloves.
  • Use tongs to pick up the needle. Clean the tongs with bleach solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water after needle is safely discarded.
  • Put the needle in a container that cannot be punctured by the needle. A plastic milk jug or large plastic pop bottle with a screw-on lid will do. (The best container is a “sharps container” which is made for used needles. A sharps container is hard-sided and there is less risk of the needle poking through the container.)
  • Take the container to the needle. Don’t carry the needle to the container.
  • Do not hold the container when you put the needle into it. Close the container with a lid.
  • Put the container into a garbage can that children cannot get at. Do not put it into a recycling bin.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water.
  • Wear disposable gloves or washable rubber gloves.
  • Pick up the condom and put the condom in a plastic bag.
  • Put the bag into a garbage can that children cannot get at. Do not put it into a recycling bin.
  • Remove and dispose of disposable gloves. Wash rubber gloves.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water
Sharps Containers

School Board staff should contact their Safety and Health Department for more information on how to get and handle sharps containers. Care providers can get hard-sided sharps containers at most drug stores, and there may be a charge.

Drug stores will accept sealed, used sharps containers for disposal at no charge.

Pick-up of Discarded Needles

In Vancouver and Richmond, there are programs to arrange for pick-up of discarded needles.

Vancouver: call the Needle Pick-up Hotline at (604) 657-6561 or email needlevan@phs.ca

Richmond: call the City Works Yard at (604) 270-8721

For other areas within Vancouver Coastal Health, please contact your local public health office for further guidance.

Protocol for needle stick injury & splash of blood or body fluid

Call Vancouver Coastal Health Communicable Disease Control at (604)-675-3900 or your local public health office for an assessment and advice. If you cannot reach someone in Public Health, follow the protocol.

What to do in case of an injury or splash happens to a child or staff member in a care centre or school setting.

In case of a needle stick injury to a child or staff member
  • Don’t panic. The risk of serious infection is low.
  • Allow the pricked area or wound to bleed freely. Do not squeeze it.
  • Wash the area with soap and water immediately. Do not use bleach or alcohol as they will irritate the wound.
Splash of blood or body fluid to the eye, nose or mouth
  • Don’t panic. The risk of serious infection in a care centre or school setting is low.
  • Rinse well with tap water for 10 – 15 minutes.

How to clean blood & body fluids

If the injury or splash is to a child
  • Contact the parents.
  • Call and ask for the CD nurse on call at 604.675.3900 right away.
  • After hours, immediately take the child to the nearest hospital emergency department. In Vancouver, go to BC Children’s Hospital.
  • Child care centre management must report the incident to the Licensing Officer.
If the injury or splash is to a staff member
  • Report to your supervisor immediately. If you cannot do this, leave a message for your supervisor.
  • Call and ask for the CD nurse on call at 604.675.3900 right away.
  • After hours, go immediately to the nearest hospital emergency department as soon as possible.
  • For follow-up counselling, see your doctor or occupational health services department.
  • Complete WorkSafeBC reports.
  • Child care centre management must report the incident to the Licensing Officer.

Print + Post

Download the one-pagers

Print these pages as featured in the guide book, Sneezes & Diseases: A Resource Book for Caregivers & Parents.

  • Health risks from used needles & condoms
  • Protocol for needle stick injury & splash of blood or body fluid