The Langley School District is warning parents after a group of elementary students who handled the contents of a discarded vape pen was rushed to hospital.
In a statement released Saturday, the district said a staff member at R.C. Garnett Demonstration Elementary noticed the group of five students handling the device during recess Friday.
The students had contact with the liquid contents of the device, which had been found on the school field.
WATCH: (Aired May 30) Escalating problem with needles left on Penticton school grounds
After spotting the group, the district said staff followed safety procedures and called B.C. Poison Control, who referred the school to the BC Ambulance Service.
The five students were taken to hospital to be checked over as a precaution, but have since been released. The students’ parents were also notified immediately.
BC Ambulance Service said they were called to the school just after 11 a.m. Two ambulances were dispatched and transported at least three patients to hospital in stable condition.
It’s not known how the other two students were brought to hospital.
The incident marks yet another danger for students at elementary and high schools across B.C., whose staff are regularly tasked with cleaning up discarded needles and other drug paraphernalia from the fields.
“The district wants to assure families that student and staff safety and well-being is a top priority,” the statement reads. “The school conducts daily sweeps of school property for any trash, glass, and drug paraphernalia.”
WATCH: (Aired Sept. 8, 2016) Needles litter Chilliwack schoolyard
The City of Langley has tried in recent years to curb the number of discarded needles on public property. In 2017, a pilot program was launched that set up outdoor needle disposal bins.
Local non-profit groups including Lookout Housing and Health Society have also taken it upon themselves to sweep neighbourhoods for used needles and other dangerous litter.
The Langley School District said staff at R.C. Garnett sent a letter to all parents alerting them to the incident and will be discussing the dangers of picking up unknown objects with students.
Parents are also being urged to have those same conversations with their children.