Dublin mum horrified when son (4) finds ‘dirty’ used syringe in playground

A concerned mum from Dublin has spoken of the horror she felt after her son found a used syringe in a playground.

he woman, originally from Ballymun but now living in homeless accommodation in Gardiner Street, was visiting Whiteacre Park in Ballymun, north Dublin, on Tuesday with her 4-year-old son when the incident unfolded.

She said he found the needle on the ground under the slide and played with it before other children threw it in the trash.

His father then rushed him to Temple Street Children’s Hospital to be checked for marks.

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The worried mum shared a photo of the syringe online

The worried mum shared a photo of the syringe online

“The blood was still fresh on it. It had probably been used not so long ago [he] picked up,” she told sundayworld.com.

“He told me he had played with the sharp end of the needle. His father stripped him naked and searched his legs, arms, hands, neck for marks, but there was nothing on him.

“His father took him to Temple Street and they checked him. They said he was safe because the needle hadn’t stuck him. He didn’t need tetanus shots because there was no broken skin and he is up to date with all his vaccines.

“But if it had stung him, it could have been a lot worse for him because obviously we didn’t know who the blood belonged to.

“I guess whoever was using it was using it under the slide and just left it. If you’re going to do something like that in a playground, there’s plenty of bins.

“They could have wrapped it up and thrown it in a trash can. They left him there for an innocent child like [my son] to pick it up. It’s so wrong. Anything could have happened. Things like that don’t cross your mind when your kids are in the playground.

The concerned mum said she has been watching her son like a hawk at the playground for the past few days.

“I watch him and I follow him everywhere. They should just be allowed to go to a playground and run around with their friends. It was just awful.

“I’m so glad it didn’t stay with him or put it into someone else’s child. The situation could have been much worse.

“I’m so thankful he’s safe.”

Fianna Fáil local councilor Briege MacOscar said Ballymun Park had been used as a “popular gathering place” in the past, but seeing a syringe left in a children’s play area is “very concerning”.

She said: “There have been complaints of anti-social behavior in this park before. It hasn’t been as bad over the past year as it was at the height of the lockdown, but in the event a syringe was found, that’s obviously much more concerning.

“At this time last year there were people bringing in loudspeakers and loud music, but usually once the gardaí put it down it would quiet down after a week or two. But s “It’s about drug use, it’s a whole other level and it’s certainly concerning.”

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Harold B. McConnell