Kids find needles in school playground, parents upset over response time
Stephanie Villella, CTV Kitchener
Published Wednesday, August 14, 2019 6:40PM EDT
Parents in a Cambridge neighbourhood are raising concerns after they say their children found a bunch of needles near a school playground over the weekend.
Several parents took their kids to hospital after learning that they may have touched the needles at Chalmers Street Public School.
Leea Miners says her daughter was one of them.
"I was panicking, like my kids are young and if anything bad would have happened…" she says.
The kids are okay, but mom Ashley Ridout says confusion about who was responsible for the clean-up made the situation worse.
"I got told by the (police) dispatcher that answered the call that, if I felt safe or comfortable picking up the needles to grab a pair of gloves, pick them and dispose of them," she remembers.
Police confirm they did receive calls about the needles.
But in a statement, police said that, "Over the last several years, the practice of collecting found needles has been transitioned to our community partners."
Ridout says she was never told that.
"We didn't know who to call. It took me about 45 minutes of searching for a number, looking through social media to find out that there was a number that I could call," she says.
She eventually called the Region of Waterloo. That's how she got in touch with the Ambassador team.
The parents say that they're grateful for the team, but that it shouldn't have been that difficult to find someone to clean up the needles.
The City of Cambridge says the Ambassador team was on site in less than 30 minutes after they were notified.
The city also says they were only notified that one child had picked up a needle and was not pricked by it.