QUESTION FOR FELLOW DIABETICS : HOW DO YOU DISPOSE OF YOUR USED NEEDLES?
This is one of THE MOST asked questions those of us with Diabetes often face.
MY JOURNEY TO SAFETY:
When I first got diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes back in 2008, I vividly remember how unaware I was on the topic of safe needle disposal. I didn’t know of the harmful effects of throwing away used needles right into the trash.
Fast forward to one year after my diagnosis, I setup my very first pump at the age of 12! This opened up a whole new world that I never experienced before.
It can be pretty daunting when you’re 12 years old. I learned a whole encyclopedia’s worth of experiences. I learned everything from putting on my pump to how to wear it and even how to actually use it! I’d like to share with you my top tips for disposing needles safely.
My journey to safety was NOT an easy one! I had lots of trash that needed to be thrown away. A used needle and inserter were among that pile of trash, so without the knowledge I needed, I threw away my used needles in the trash!!!
MY TOP TIPS ON HOW TO DISPOSE NEEDLES SAFELY:
DO NOT THROW USED NEEDLES AND INSERTERS IN TRASH
ENLIST A PUMP TRAINER
- When I began my new world as a T1D, I constantly threw away my used needles in the trash. My pump trainer quickly caught me in the act of throwing the needles away unsafely and showed me how to break my long-term habit!
HAVE ACCESS TO A SHARPS CONTAINER:
- Unused needles go in a sharps container as well as used syringes, lancets, and any other form of needles.
Today, this is something that I am very passionate about. After educating myself on the dangers of disposing used needles the wrong way, I made it my goal to always have a sharps container in sight. Whether I am at home following a set routing or creating temporary plans for traveling-I always make sure to dispose safely!
LOCATE A SHARPS DISPOSAL ANYWHERE YOU ARE WITH SAFENEEDLEDISPOSAL.ORG
- I partnered with SafeNeedleDisposal.org to bring awareness on this very important topic. This website allows you to search for drop off locations in your area by zip code and teaches you how to safely store your used needles at home! Some areas even allow disposal in your household trash bin if placed in the proper container. I find that education is so very important since many may not be fully aware of the potential dangers in disposing their needles unsafely. As SafeNeedleDisposal.org states, the bottom line is that safety is the point.
HOW TO USE SAFENEEDLEDISPOSAL.ORG:
LOCATE DROP-OFF LOCATION:
- Use the site to locate the appropriate drop-off location in your area is so vital and so very convenient.
STORE UP USED NEEDLES:
- Store up all your used needles for a few months.
DESIGNATE A REGULAR DISPOSAL DAY:
- Designate a certain day to go out and dispose of your needles at your local drop-off location. You are not only bettering the environment, but your own health and safety as well.
Let’s be honest ,as Diabetics, we go through lots of needles, daily, weekly, monthly, and so on. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Diabetes yet, so we must insert pump sites, CGM sites, inject Insulin, and prick our fingers daily! Basically, we go through LOTS of needles and they need to go SOMEWHERE at the end of the day. By having designated areas and a great website to help us find those locations, it becomes a great way to dispose of needles both safely and efficiently.