Hidden Dangers on Area Playgrounds

Several used hypodermic needles discovered at area parks and schools

FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- Kids can pick up a lot of things on the local playground.  Dirty needles shouldn't be one of them.

Police are warning parents in the Falls Church area to pay extra attention to their children at area parks and schools after several reports of children finding used needles.

At least six used, hypodermic needles have turned up at Lincoln Park; several more have been discovered near the playground at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.

Police have posted signs in the area asking parents to be on the lookout for the dangerous needles.  They are also increasing patrols in the area.

Parents say the discoveries make them uneasy.

"I have a 2-year-old who loves to run, especially in the bushes, so I have to be a little bit more careful when he goes in there now," Nora Hart said.

Kim Levinson called news of the dirty needles shocking.

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"You almost feel like you're in a cocoon in this neighborhood," Levinson said.

Investigators don't know if the needles are dumped medical waste, or discarded drug paraphernalia.  Either way, police say if you see one, stay away.

"We're asking for help and information. If you see anyone in the park after dark, or if you see a needle, call us and we can do a follow-up," Falls Church Deputy Police Chief Mary Gavin said.

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