Condom in toddler’s mouth tests positive
Used condom in child’s mouth tests positive for sexually transmitted infection.
Image: via Shutterstock

Kids are renowned for putting things in their mouths, usually with no harm being done, but a used condom discarded at a daycare is the last thing a mom would expect to have to deal with: In a Florida daycare, a 3-year-old toddler found a used condom and put it in her mouth, prompting a terrifying year of tests for the girl and her mother after the condom tested positive for the sexually transmitted infection (STI), gonorrhoea, according to HuffPost.

Where did the condom come from?

The discovery of gonorrhoea on the condom in December 2011 meant that the toddler had to endure a year of tests for various possible infections, and, for Tiesha Sanders, the girl’s mother, the experience has left her determined to avoid this kind of risk occurring to any other child. She is currently suing the daycare centre, although the director of the daycare has claimed that the playground is “checked and cleaned every day before children are allowed to enter”.

How to avoid the condom conundrum

In South Africa, it is common to find used condoms in public areas such as parks, which are often used by couples or sex workers as a place to engage in sexual activity. It’s obviously difficult to explain what a condom is to a very small child, so what can be done to avoid something similar happening to your child?
  • Check any public play area for hazardous litter such as condoms or glass before allowing your child to crawl or run around.
  • Take an unused condom and explain that these can carry dangerous germs, and that your child should never pick one up if they see one lying around.
  • Report any condoms seen littering a public play area to the department or park attendant responsible for picking up litter.
  • Condoms, to a young child, will appear similar to party balloons; explain that the two are dangerous and shouldn’t be picked up outside (or in the home). Balloons and condoms could be a choking risk, so make sure that your small child never puts one in his mouth. You don’t have to discuss sex at all, but rather focus on safety.
  • If you and your partner use condoms make sure that you dispose of them correctly and that they can’t be picked up by a small child.
What would you do if your child saw a condom in the park?

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