ROLLA, Mo. (KSDK) – A 12-year-old boy accidentally got stuck in the arm with a dirty needle Friday after he and a friend found several used hypodermic syringes on the side of the road.
The needles were discovered in the 1000 block of Laguille Court. The boy's mom learned about the incident and contacted authorities on Monday, and was told to bring the child to the emergency room.
The Rolla, Missouri police chief says the needles are a result of the heroin and meth epidemic.
Chief Mark Kearse tells us the dirty needles are all over town. Police say the two needles found last Friday afternoon were discovered while the boys were walking home from school.
The needles were found just 50 yards from Mark Twain Elementary. Police say the two boys started playing with them and one boy got one of the needles stuck in his hand.
They threw them down and rushed home.
Chief Kearse says unfortunately the location is not surprising and in the past five years his department has collected hundreds of dirty needles.
"Parks, city streets, backyards, parking lots, realistically you name it there's places they've been found around the community," he said.
The chief say 10 years ago, his department wasn't finding any needles. Now, he says the rise in needles is caused by the increase in meth and heroin use.
"It's concerning but I'm not overly alarmed about it," said father Barrett Estes, who lives near the elementary school.
This father to a 14-month-old son says he's not surprised, but doesn't think it's any of his neighbors.
"Families have kids here too so, I don't think it would be anyone in this area so most likely its just something that got dumped out," Estes said.
Chief Kearse says the needles can carry all sorts of things and you could contract a disease.
"You can have anything from hepatitis on it to to aids to meth, and heroin and those type of things," Chief Kearse said.
Police are still waiting on test results for the needle to see if there was any residue or anything else on the syringe.
The 12 year old boy was taken to the hospital and is doing okay, but we are still waiting on his blood test results.
One mother also reported a used needle in the fenced backyard where her toddler plays. Police say drug users throw the syringes out anywhere, instead of properly disposing of them.
Parents are advised to notify authorities if they find an abandoned syringe. An officer will respond and safely dispose of it.