Birthday party nightmare: Man steps on junkie's syringe
A FIVE-year-old's birthday party turned into a nightmare for a Bundaberg man who stepped on a used syringe at the Lake Ellen playground over the weekend.
Allan Chapman was attending his nephew's birthday party on Saturday when he stood on a discarded syringe between the disability swing and the undercover seating in the park.
"At first I just thought it was a thorn so I went to scrape it off on the ground and it went back into my foot so it stabbed me twice," Mr Chapman said.
At least 50 children were attending multiple birthday parties at the park during the day.
Mr Chapman said he was glad that it was him and not a child who stood on the syringe.
He said he was disappointed that someone would leave a used syringe in a children's playground.
"I'm very disappointed with them and the council as well because there's no yellow bins there for them to put their needles in either," he said.
Mr Chapman received Hepatitis B vaccinations from his local GP and has an agonising wait to see if he contracts a disease. "I've been told there's a very minimal chance I'll contract HIV but I've still got to do blood tests for the next six months," he said.
As well as putting him at risk physically, the incident is impacting Mr Chapman's mental health and is worrying those around him.
"I'm stressed, worried, even worried about my mother because she was stressing really bad and she's at a point where she shouldn't be stressing too, bad but because of this she's over-stressing now," he said.
"I'm just glad it was me not my nephew or any other kid, but I'm still worried about the end result."
His family shared their concerns on Facebook as a warning to other families who take their kids to the park regularly.
"Filthy ferals have no concern for anyone, just their next fix," a Facebook user said.
Mr Chapman said he'd never experienced an incident like this before, neither had his family or friends.
"I'm just trying to take it one step at a time so to speak," he said.
A Bundaberg Regional Council spokesperson has asked that residents take responsibility for their actions and discard of dangerous objects appropriately.
"While every effort is made by council staff to maintain parks and gardens, with more than 300 parks and gardens in the region, it is not possible for each one to be inspected on a daily basis," the spokesperson said. "Sharps containers are located in a number of toilet facilities throughout the region however issues with sharps disposal have not commonly occurred in this area."
The spokesperson said that anyone disposing of sharps should do so in a respectful manner.