Irish toddler tested after putting used condom in his mouth at playground

NewsBy Morgan Flanagan Creagh
Cate Harrison with her son Charlie
Cate Harrison with her son Charlie

While on holidays in the UK, little Charlie Harrison found a used condom on the ground in a pub playground and put it in his mouth.

His mum, 34-year-old Cate Harrison, rushed Charlie to hospital where she was told there was a chance he could have caught Hepatitis B from the used prophylactic.

Cate, from Belfast, was visiting friends in Westbury, UK, when the incident happened at the kiddies play area in the Longs Arms pub in Yarnbrook.

Little Charlie will now be given three injections over the coming months to prevent infection while his mum was offered her money back and a voucher by the pub, which is run by the Hungry Horse chain.

“There is a duty of care to make sure it is clean and tidy and I'm very angry, Cate told The Wiltshire Times.  

The playground at the Longs Arms

"I don't think something like this should be happening in this day and age.

"Charlie was by the toddler slide and me and my friend were sat a few feet away and could still see him.

"Then a lady came across to us and said 'Your son has just picked up a condom'.

"I rushed over and there was this condom next to him.

"I was in shock, I couldn't believe that a business run for families would let this happen.

"The response I got from the staff was that they cleaned their park every day but this obviously wasn't the case.

Cate has been assured that there's no chance of Charlie catching HIV or AIDS but there may be a slim chance of other infections.

Cate and her son Charlie

"They said there was a very low risk he might get Hepatitis B and that it was up to the parent whether to get him vaccinated, but what parent wouldn't get him vaccinated,” said the furious mother.

"He's quite upset with himself I think because of my reaction as obviously I was concerned and angry but he knows why he's getting the injections."

A Long Arms spokesman said "As a family friendly pub we are shocked by this unusual incident and apologise to the family for the distress it must have caused.

"Our large garden area is thoroughly tidied and checked regularly throughout the day and although it is unlikely we will be able to establish how this came to be there, we will be reviewing the way our garden is maintained in future."