Two children face an agonising wait to see if they have HIV after fears they were jabbed with a discarded needle as they played in a public paddling pool.

Joanne Cantor, 37, and her friend Kelly Turner, 27, took their children to enjoy the weekend weather at The Level, Brighton, when they received their injuries.

The two families had only been at the park for about 45 minutes when Ms Cantor's daughter Courtney, 11, and Ms Turner's son Brandon, nine, came running back from the paddling pool to say they had both been pricked by something sharp.

Courtney had a pin prick and a scrape down her knee and Brandon had a puncture mark on the end of his finger.

The parents desperately searched the paddling pool but could not find what had caused the injuries.

The incident happened at about 3pm on Saturday.

The children were taken to A&E at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton where they were both given an injection against hepatitis.

They will have to go back for a booster in four weeks time and also wait for three months until they can have HIV tests.

A council spokesman said: “We are very distressed to hear about what has happened and we will do everything we can to ensure the area is safe.

“We will continue to work with the police, health services and other agencies to ensure that kind of antisocial behaviour does not continue.”