Dublin mum horrified as son (4) finds 'dirty' used syringe in playground
She was visiting Whiteacre Park in Ballymun, north Dublin with her 4-year-old son on Tuesday when the incident unfolded.
A concerned Dublin mother has spoken of the horror she felt after her son found a used syringe in a playground.
The woman, who is originally from Ballymun but is now living in homeless accommodation in Gardiner Street, was visiting Whiteacre Park in Ballymun, north Dublin with her 4-year-old son on Tuesday when the incident unfolded.
She said that he found the needle on the ground under the slide and had been playing with it before some other children threw it in the bin.
His dad then rushed him to Temple Street Children’s Hospital to check for any markings.
“The blood was still fresh on it. It had probably been used not that long before [he] picked it up,” she told sundayworld.com.
“He told me he’d been playing with the pointy bit on the needle. His dad stripped him down and was searching his legs, his arms, his hands, the back of his neck for marks but there was nothing on him.
“His dad brought him into Temple Street and they checked him over. They said he was safe because the needle didn’t prick in him. He didn’t need any tetanus shots because there was no skin broken and he’s up to date with all his vaccines.
“But if it had have pricked him, the situation could have been a lot worse for him because obviously we didn’t know whose blood it was.
“I’m assuming whoever was using it was using it under the slide and just left it. If you’re going to do something like this in a playground, there’s loads of bins.
“They could have wrapped it up and thrown it in a bin. They left it there for some innocent child like [my son] to pick it up. It’s so wrong. Anything could have happened. Things like that don’t come to your mind when your kids are in the playground.”
The worried mum said she’s been watching her son like a hawk at the playground over the last few days.
“I’m watching him and following him everywhere. They should just be allowed to go into a playground and run around with their friends. It was just horrible.
“I’m just so glad that it didn’t stick in him or he didn’t stick it in someone else’s child. The situation could have been an awful lot worse.
“I’m just so thankful that he’s safe.”
Local Fianna Fáil councillor Briege MacOscar said that the Ballymun park has been used as a “popular gathering spot” in the past but to see a syringe being left in a children’s playground is “very concerning.”
She said: “There have been complaints of anti-social behaviour in that park before. It hasn’t been as bad over the last year as it would have been during the height of lockdown but in the case that a syringe has been found, that’s obviously a lot more concerning.
“This time last year there were people bringing speakers and blaring music but usually once the gardaí cracked down on it, it would calm down after a week or two. But if it’s drug use happening, that’s a whole other level and it’s concerning certainly.”
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