An inquiry has been launched after a five-year-old boy was taken to hospital after a picking up a needle in his school playground.

The Bevendean Primary School pupil found a tip of a syringe in the play area during his lunch break.

His worried mother took him to hospital to have tests for infections linked to drug-use.

School bosses have now launched an investigation into how the syringe got into the fenced-off playground in Heath Hill Avenue, Brighton.

The mother of the Year 1 pupil, who did not want to be named, claimed her son had a pin prick on his finger after the incident which happened on Thursday at about 12pm.

The 32-year-old mother of four, from Bevendean, said: “I was rung by the school around 2pm and they said my child wasn’t hurt.

“But when I picked him up, there was a pin prick mark on his finger.

"I had to take him up to the Royal Sussex County Hospital to get tested for HIV and hepatitis. We now have to wait for the results. The school has two fences so God knows where it came from.

“When I was told I got angry and asked how did it even come to be in the playground and how was it not found when the playground is checked twice a day?

“I want other parents to know.”

When The Argus contacted the school, which has 350 pupils, headteacher Martyn Giddens initially refused to comment.

We then contacted Brighton and Hove City Council.

In a statement, Mr Giddens then said: “During Thursday lunch break a child found the tip of a syringe in the lower school play area. They took it to a supervisor on duty.

“Our first priority was to the child. We carried out a visual inspection and found no marks to indicate their skin had been punctured. The child also said they had not been scratched by the needle. As soon as we were aware of the situation, we phoned the parents of the child involved and those of children playing nearby to make them aware.

“We called public health for advice and the child was taken to hospital by their parent for assessment. Health professionals explained there is very low risk from an incident like this.

“The school is surrounded by secure high fencing and there is no evidence anyone has entered the grounds.

“This appears to be an isolated incident and as such was dealt with by the school in the first instance.

“We will however be asking the police for advice as to any further action we should take.”

A council spokeswoman said: “We have been informed by the headteacher of Bevendean Primary about part of a syringe being found by a pupil in the school grounds.

“We are aware of the actions taken and measures being put in place to investigate the incident.

“We will support the school on this matter.”