FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)– An entire community is outraged after a little boy was poked by a hypodermic needle near a playground in Fort Collins.
The 4-year-old boy was picking up pinecones near a tree just feet away from playground equipment at Lee Martinez Park when he saw a syringe and pricked his hand while picking it up, according to a Facebook post by the boy’s mother.
More than 1,000 people had commented on the post.
Lee Martinez Park is a busy recreational space where many parents, like Michael Rivoire, take their kids.
“Hopefully this is a fluke. I’ve grown up here my whole life and never heard of anything like this before,” said Rivoire.
Doctors took a sample of the boy’s blood to test for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV. They told his mother that it was too soon to know if he had been infected with a disease but that the chances were low.
Rebecca Cranston, Regional Director for the Northern Colorado AIDS Project (NCAP) said the non-profit had proposed installing safe syringe disposal kiosks throughout the city to prevent similar incidents.
“It has not been passed. There is a lot of resistance. But what people really need are options for safer disposal,” Cranston told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.
NCAP recently started a community clean-up program and is asking for volunteers to help pick up needles that have been discarded where they don’t belong.
“There’s nothing like that going on currently that’s sponsored by the city or the county… So we will go out with our trash bags and our sharp safe containers and we’ll actually be cleaning up the syringes or other trash that might be out in public parks,” Cranston said.
Those who are interested in participating in the monthly cleanups can contact Sam Bourdon at 970-632-2046 or check out NCAP’s Facebook page. The next cleanup day is Monday, Oct. 9.
Needle users can safely dispose of used needles at NCAP’s facility located at 400 Remington St. Suite 100 or by calling 970-484-4469.
NCAP facility safe disposal hours:
Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Wednesdays from 9 a.m.- 7 p.m.
The Larimer County Household Hazardous Waste Facility accepts hazardous waste Monday through Saturday (excluding Wednesday) as long as sharps are in approved containers, which are available at NCAP. Some businesses also have sharps containers in their bathrooms. NCAP is working on outreach around supporting more businesses in that endeavor.
Colorado Access Point is another organization with safe disposal locations in Denver and Grand Junction.