PORTLAND, Ore. - A Portland mother contacted KATU after her 5-year-old found a needle she thought looked like a toy, and poked herself in the leg.
"I got a call from him saying our middle daughter who’s 5 years old, had picked up a used hypodermic needle and stabbed herself in the leg," Ali Hurd told KATU.
The little girl was playing in Waterfront Park in a grassy area near the west end of the Hawthorne Bridge.
Hurd says her daughter told her the needle looked like a toy, like the play doctor's kit she has at home.
They rushed her to the hospital where initial testing all came back negative for any disease. But Hurd says it will be at least six more weeks before test results come back for HIV and any hepatitis strains.
"So it’s six weeks of not knowing ... it’s been really scary," Hurd said.
KATU contacted Portland Parks and Recreation, the department that oversees that park area. The spokesperson for the department said park rangers patrol both sides of the Hawthorne Bridge three to four times every day and say it is their top priority to keep the area clean
Mark Ross, spokesman for Portland Parks and Recreation, said this is a rare incident and that in the four years he has worked for the department, he has never heard of a similar incident.
He said he commended the parents for being proactive in taking their daughter to the ER to make sure she was OK.