A kindergartner found a used condom at a playground and put it in his mouth because he thought it was a balloon, reports said.
The father of the five-year-old boy, who lives in Richmond, Virginia, said he is glad it was not something worse, according to WRIC.
“It could’ve been needles, it could’ve been pills, it could’ve been anything that could harm a child, and that’s a parents’ worse fear,” he noted.
Reports stated that the child found the protectant on the grounds of Blackwell Elementary School. The parents contacted reporters to tell their story and to make other parents more aware.
“You should take your business elsewhere,” the boy’s father commented. “I don’t understand why anyone would come to a children’s playground and do any type of nefarious activity.”
Richmond Public Schools said its staff clean the playgrounds on a daily basis, but sometimes trash and other items may escape their view. “Our staff completes daily safety surveys of all play areas. Unfortunately, in rare instances, an item might be hidden out of view, as with the case in this incident,” it said.
The father said when he found out that his child had picked up the condom and put it in his mouth, he became upset.
“I was angry. We always tell him do not pick up things off the floor. We always tell him don’t put things in his mouth. At the same time, I understand a 5-year-old will see something that they think is a balloon and they will pick it up, thinking that it’s for fun,” he concluded.
The little boy was taken to the hospital following the incident, but his father said he did not test positive for any sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
In a similar instance in 2015, another kindergartner picked up a used condom at a school playground in Baltimore, Maryland, and put it to his mouth because he thought it was a balloon.
“The principal said that they find needles, condoms, things like that all the time on the playground,” said the child’s grandmother, Waltyne Cooper. “So, my reaction to her was, ‘if you find things like that on the playground all the time, why would you take these babies out to that playground, putting them in harm’s way?’”
Cooper said her grandson was taken to the school nurse, who washed his mouth out with saltwater and then called his family.
A statement regarding the incident by a school spokesperson read, “Baltimore City Schools will continue to stress to all our custodians to do a thorough sweep of their playgrounds every morning.”