Potentially contaminated needles found in Wagga parks have prompted outcry from horrified parents.
Families are being warned to check where their children are playing, following the discovery of a capped needle near the Botanic Gardens car park on Sunday morning.
Wagga mother Cath Perkins took to Facebook after she stumbled across the dangerous find.
In a post on Thumbs UP, Thumbs DOWN Wagga, Mrs Perkins said a worker at the park had responded with “what do you want me to do about it”, when the needle was brought to her attention.
Mrs Perkins said her husband had disposed of the needle, but it was a deed that should not have been necessary.
“Thumbs down to whoever left this dirty needle at the botanic gardens,” Mrs Perkins said. “Please remove your dirty syringes yourself.”
She said she would also have hoped for a better reply from the park worker.
“It’s sad we need to educate our children to look for these things, like we did with our nine-year-old when we saw it,” Mrs Perkins said.
“There should perhaps be sharps bins or something and the workers should be educated or have better removal tools.”
She said it was a topic that needed to be made public, so families could be warned and something could be done to prevent similar occurrences from happening in the future.
It follows a number of needle sightings across the city last year.
Fellow resident Lockie Dunn said he too had been at the park with his son when he found an exposed, used needle below the swing set.
“I told the worker and his response was: ‘I can’t do anything about it. If you’re worried, put it in the bin’,” Mr Dunn said. “I took (my son) and left.”
It follows the instalment of a number of new sharps disposal bins across Wagga last year, with two placed at Wilks Park and the Tolland Community Centre in November.
Council have also launched an educational program, teaching city children to be “sharps smart”.
Anybody who suffers a needle stick incident is urged to:
- Clean the area immediately and wash the wound with soap and water.
- Contact a healthcare provider as soon as possible to have the adequate blood tests undertaken.
- Report the location of the used syringe to council or a disposal service.
If you find a needle or syringe on public place, please call Wagga City Council or the Needle Clean-up Hotline on 1800 633 353 to have the items safely removed.
Visit Wagga City Council website for needle and syringe disposal information.