Mother's warning as boy finds hypodermic needle in city park
PUBLISHED: 06:00 17 September 2018 | UPDATED: 11:45 17 September 2018
A mother has spoken of her horror after her nine-year-old child picked up a hypodermic needle in a Norwich park.
Nurse Zoe Jervis, 33, said her son, Issac, came running over holding the needle after finding it in a bush at Chapelfield Gardens.
She said a liquid was trickling out of it and she immediately told him to drop it.
Mrs Jervis, from Attleborough, said: “My immediate reaction was fear because I thought had he had sustained a needle stick from it.
“It was horrifying to see because I work as a nurse and I know the types of disease some drug users can have.
“A child’s life would be changed in an instant if they were exposed to hepatitis B or HIV.”
Mrs Jervis said Issac had needed the toilet while walking through the park on August 30.
The main public toilets were locked, so she allowed her son to go in a nearby bush.
“He was gone for a couple of minutes which I thought was a bit odd,” she said.
“But as he came running out of the bush he was holding a syringe attached to a blue hypodermic needle.
“He said ‘look what I found’ and was holding it upside down and there was liquid running out of it.”
Mrs Jervis said she called her son’s doctor and was told to go to A&E as the needle could have been used by a drug user.
In the meantime, Issac was taken to a cafe in the park to wash his hands thoroughly.
He was later seen by a doctor, but was told no tests were needed due to there being no scratch or puncture wounds.
Mrs Jervis said she wanted to highlight the issue in order to warn other parents using the popular city centre park.
She said: “I have never said to Issac ‘if you see a needle in the park don’t touch it’, but perhaps I should have done.
“It is something that needs to be told to children.”
She said signs could be put up in the park advising parents to keep their children in the open areas.
A spokesperson for Norwich City Council said drug use was a criminal matter and that any complaints would be passed to the police.
“We would work with them to address any known issues,” the spokesman said.
The city council said its officers carry out daily checks of the park for routine maintenance and to empty bins.