Mother warns about syringe risk at parks

CONCERNED: Grafton mother Vanessa Collins on the spot where a member of her family found a syringe. Photo: Tim Howard
CONCERNED: Grafton mother Vanessa Collins on the spot where a member of her family found a syringe. Photo: Tim Howard

AFTER finding three syringes on Grafton streets in the past 18 months, a Grafton mother of two is warning parents to be vigilant when letting children play in public places.

Vanessa Collins said the find, near a public toilet in Jacaranda Park, had been most disturbing.

She said her three boys had been playing near a path a few metres from the toilet when she noticed one looking at the syringe.

"Luckily he didn't prick himself on it," Ms Collins said.

"I took it from him very gently and carefully bent the needle over and put it in the sharps disposal box in the men's toilet."

She said she made sure her children always had shoes on when she took them to the park and did a scan of the area to check for dangers. "When I see parents with children playing in the park, I always ask them if the children are wearing shoes and tell them about my experiences with syringes," she said.

She said it was unrealistic to think Clarence Valley Council could be totally responsible for keeping the parks clean.

"What happens if they clean the park at 5pm and someone drops a syringe an hour later?" she said.

"It's really up to parents to ensure their children are safe and they check the area themselves before allowing children to play there."

She backed the provision of sharps disposal units in public toilets, even if syringe users did not always use them.

"If they weren't there, there would be even more of these things left lying around the streets," she said.

Topics:  syringe

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