View Full Version : Needles on Beaches

2nd Oct 2008, 21:06
I took my three-year-old to the beach yesterday.

The harbour side of Manly, in Sydney, for what it's worth.

She had a new bucket for the summer and was digging holes.

She soon came up to me holding an interesting find. It was a hypodermic needle. Just the needle in its plastic screw fitting.

I don't think she poked herself.

My wife says this is the way beaches are these days and that all you can do is stay in the cleaner areas. Which I thought we were.

But is that true? Is a hypodermic needle a routine find on a beach?

My inclination is to move very far away from all other people.

2nd Oct 2008, 21:29
They're not uncommon on beaches here (Vancouver) but more common in back alleys along with used condoms and other disgusting items. Meanwhile the homeless druggies still clamour for free housing and show no intention of giving up drugs.

Drive a little further to Palm or Whale beaches - probably safer as they are a good distance from rampant drug enviroments.

2nd Oct 2008, 21:52
Rollingthunder I think "show no intention of giving up drugs" is a touch of a sweeping statement there...a lot 'want' to give up drugs the same as a lot of people 'want' to give up smoking. When you're addicted it's gotta be pretty difficult...
I put 'want' in quotation marks as you can define it a few ways. Obviously if someone wants something enough they'll get it, but when you have a chemical need for a drug it's not easy to want it enough.
Also most people who have an addiction didn't start because they're lazy bums, they started because their lives were sh*t and it's an escape from it, same as alcoholism.

Not that I'm condoning or excusing it in any way of course.

2nd Oct 2008, 22:45
Sadly this is all too common.

My wife and I never let our kids walk on a beach in bare feet or even in a public playground for that matter. We found a hypodermic needle in a suburban playground once. That was it for us.

Druggies just don't give a stuff about the rest of us. :mad::mad::mad:

2nd Oct 2008, 23:30
Whether they want to give up or not, I'm certainly in an exterminatory mood at the moment. Apparently we now have to wait three months to see if she stuck herself and got hepatitis or HIV.

Drive a little further to Palm or Whale beaches

Unfortunately, Australia has managed to make what should be one of the most beautiful drives in the world into an ugly, slow passage. It takes almost an hour to get from Manly to Palm Beach.

Cap'n Arrr
2nd Oct 2008, 23:52
Does anyone else remember that case a couple years ago (in Sydney and Melb i think) where needles were left in cinema seats in such a way that if you sat down you got stuck? Quite frankly if whoever was doing that is face down in a gutter somewhere, they still didnt get what they deserve. :mad:

Howard Hughes
3rd Oct 2008, 01:22
Whether they want to give up or not, I'm certainly in an exterminatory mood at the moment. Apparently we now have to wait three months to see if she stuck herself and got hepatitis or HIV.
As a parent I couldn't think of a worse scenario to face, my thoughts are with you Crosshair, I hope the outcome for your family is positive.

I agree with Cap'n Arrr's last sentence wholeheartedly!

3rd Oct 2008, 02:05
"When you're addicted it's gotta be pretty difficult..."

I agree. However there are programs to assist with this....not perfect and afterwards you still need the fortitude to get out of the influencing areas and not go back to the lifestyle.

It's more a question of moral weakness. Even if from a broken home they made the descision to do drugs as an escape. They made the descision to drop out of school, they made the descision to not get a job, they made the descision to leach off everyone else in society, they made the descision to not even try to get off drugs.....yes Iknow....generalizations....but very widespread generalizations.

We have an area known as the poorest post code in Canada and it is extremely depressing and dangerous to walk through it. It attracts most of the druggies and illegal immigrants from Mexico, Guatamala, Honduras etc who's only goal is to supply drugs.They will often get kicked out of the country and be back a couple of weeks later.

Druggies demand free housing
They demand free food
They demand free clothing
to reserve their money for their fixes which they get by burglarizing homes, shoplifting from shops, breaking into cars, mugging people.

Yes I feel so sorry for them...not. So, what's the solution?

3rd Oct 2008, 02:44
An overdose should do the trick.. failing that a 9mm.....:ok:

3rd Oct 2008, 02:49
Thanks, Howard.

Apparently, the odds are in our favour. Apparently, about 1 in 17 needles in a survey of a Sydney shooting gallery were infected with hepatitis or HIV. The odds of getting infected by a stick with an infected needle are not 100 percent either. Plus we're not sure that she poked herself -- probably she didn't. So I think we're well under 1 percent probability of the worst case.

There is a treatment protocol for needle-sticks, but it's pretty elaborate (three drugs a day by injection for 28 days) and is not for kids.

She'll be all right. I am not going to worry.

Howard Hughes
3rd Oct 2008, 02:58
If she did 'sting' herself, I am sure you would have heard...;)

All the best.:ok:

Roger Sofarover
3rd Oct 2008, 03:26

I agree with Howard, if she had stuck the needle in herself i am sure you would have heard the reaction, or even saw blood. Good luck, and I am sure she will be just fine.

3rd Oct 2008, 05:02
Just for reference for anyone planning a holiday to Rio the beach at Copa Cabana is seriously dangerous with needles everywhere.

3rd Oct 2008, 11:44
Crosshair, I think the risk of infection is non-existent, but you are right to be concerned and have your child checked. She would have told you if she'd hurt herself on it. So sad this should happen somewhere so lovely. I used to take my children to play on Manly harbour beach and on Steyne beach there back in the 80s. The drive up to Barranjoey was a delight. But hypodermic needles were a hazard always. One wishes druggies extermination, but unfortunately we have to live with them and lazy beggars! Just don't worry, and always check where your kids play. Maybe equipment for beaches these days should be a garden rake!

3rd Oct 2008, 14:38
As a parent, I doubt if the low risk of infection is a consolation. But it is correct that most needle-stick injury will be uneventful. I used to be a dentist, I shudder to think that during my dental school days, we didn't wear gloves. That was a long time ago before HIV but then Hepatitis B is endemic in my part of the world.

Is any part of the civilised world still untainted? My memories of Australia has always been clean and pleasant.

3rd Oct 2008, 20:07
I never realized the extent to which my three-year-old's arms and legs are covered with bumps, scratches, mosquito bites, and the general small injuries associated with being three until I went looking for a pinprick on them! I agree with the people who say she probably would have said something if she'd been stuck (but it was a very fine needle, designed not to hurt...says the voice).

Sun and seawater are not a good environment for viruses, particularly fragile HIV (but it was pretty high up the beach...). Apparently, the risk of infection is very closely related to whether there is blood visible on the needle, which there definitely was not (but what about inside...).

I have resolved not to worry (if you say so...). But I'll post her results here in a couple of months.

In the meantime, I have indeed added a small rake to the bag of stuff I carry when out with the children.

Metro man
4th Oct 2008, 00:24
Next time Singapore hangs someone for drug trafficking, thank them.

4th Oct 2008, 00:54
I have always thought that the Asian rationales for executing people (doing great harm to the community, typically via drug trafficking) made more sense than the American ones (killing a special class of person [a child or a cop], killing someone in an especially horrible way, or killing lots of people).

4th Oct 2008, 07:32
Does anyone else remember that case a couple years ago (in Sydney and Melb i think) where needles were left in cinema seats in such a way that if you sat down you got stuck?

Yes I do remember all the hype about HIV infected needles on cinema seats in Bombay, Montreal, Hawaii, Melbourne etc. It has been circulating on the net for many years. However according to Snopes, it is an unsubstiated urban legend.

snopes.com: Pin Prick Attacks (http://www.snopes.com/horrors/madmen/pinprick.asp)

Unfortunately, needles on beaches are factual. A neighbour's little girl got stuck by one on one of the beaches in Cronulla NSW but thankfully tested negative after the requisit incubation period.

4th Oct 2008, 09:30
You'd better not bring your daughter to England, we have much bigger ones here...

The Needles, Isle of Wight (http://www.needles.shalfleet.net/)

4th Oct 2008, 10:23
Sit on one of those and your eyes will pop!

Old and lovely though they are, not many know that the Needles, being on an extremity, was also the site in the 60s of Britain's brief and unsuccessful foray into the space race and rocket motor testing:
The Needles & Rockets (http://www.theneedlesbattery.org.uk/rocket.shtml)
This had major advantages of no danger of Aids infection, and if it blew up, it might take a little bit of France with it too.

5th Feb 2009, 05:36
We've had her tested after three months and there is no problem.

Thanks to everyone who said nice things back when I first brought this up.

Let's be careful out there!

5th Feb 2009, 05:43
That is very good to hear. :)

Howard Hughes
5th Feb 2009, 06:23
That's great news!:ok:

5th Feb 2009, 06:52
I must have missed this one on its first time around. As I read through page 1 my blood started to boil. Then I noticed the dates. Then I saw the good news just above.

Go and have a fabulous bottle of wine and treat your daughter to something nice as well. :D

A Comfy Chair
5th Feb 2009, 07:34
Thats great news :)

Cap'n Arrr... I don't know about cinema seats, but I remember a few years ago in Melbourne the older style trains with the thick foam seats had a few needles found sticking up in them, clearly deliberately placed.

[email protected]

5th Feb 2009, 08:05
I, too, missed this the first time around.

Goodonya mate. Have been to Manly many times and never had a problem like that. That said, the first time I went to Bondi I was appalled at the detritus lying around, including needles. I hear its a lot better now.

Re your daughter, treat her to what she loves the best! Hopefully it'll be something the whole family can join in as well. Sod the expense! Celebrate the fact she's alive and well!

Give my love to the folks at the Harbord RSL.

5th Feb 2009, 21:37
Crosshair, that's great news, although the risk to health was slight, you've still had to live with the agony for 3 months.

I'm not going to try and defend those with drug dependancy problems, but I have got a few observations, made from experience dealing with these people.

I think that it's fair to say that by the time people start injecting drugs, they are actually very poorly. Unfortunately, they are seen as the lowest of the low in society.

There is a bit of a pecking order:

The coffee drinkers look down on the drinkers
The drinkers look down on the smokers.
The smokers look down on the ganja smokers
The ganja smokers look down on the coke heads
The coke heads look down on the smack heads

Unfortunately, whilst the moral majority rule, we will still have to deal with neeedlestick injuries. I'd like to put the yellow boxes on every street corner. (Most needle exchange schemes work very well until those up the pecking order find out about them.)

Glad your childs ok.:)

DX Wombat
5th Feb 2009, 22:14
Crosshair, I didn't see this thread when you first posted but I'm really pleased your daughter is clear.
One of the things that struck me when I visited Australia a couple of years ago was the very large number of used needles and syringes lying around in public places. What Australia does need to do as a matter of urgency, is provide free disposal of used needles. I was horrified to learn that no facility for this existed. Sharps bins in the local pharmacy would be a very good idea.

6th Feb 2009, 00:40
Thanks again everybody.

I didn't really let myself worry about the possibility of a bad test result -- it would have been debilitatingly horrible to contemplate -- but Mrs. Crosshair and I considered the "alternative" after getting the good news yesterday. I hope, as a result of that exercise, we have greater compassion those who do get bad news about their children.

Anyway, we gave her a new magic crown, which she'd been wanting since her last one was sat upon, then repaired in an insufficiently magical way.

Gingernut, the hierarchy is interesting. And DX Wombat, there seem to be needle collection boxes in many public restrooms these days.

DX Wombat
6th Feb 2009, 10:26
I'm really pleased to hear that Crosshair. It's two years since I was last in Oz so it's good to hear things have improved. :)

Iain Wilson
6th Feb 2009, 12:21
Delighted to read of your good news, crosshair. As a parent I can only imagine the worry of the last 12 weeks. As a Podiatrist, I deal with blades and needles every day of my professional life. Needlestick is a serious hazard, with clearly established clinical protocols in place shuold this event occur. Back in the "good `ole days" we dealt mostly with elderly patients who simply didn`t inject drugs. However as our scope of practice has expanded, we are exposed to an ever younger population, some of whose personal habits can expose us to a danger hitherto unforseen when I qualified back in the late seventies.

Roger Sofarover
6th Feb 2009, 13:14

I am the same as siseman and DX, I thought this was a new thread and was very relieved to hear the good news on the second page. You cannot legislate for everything in a childs life and I am sure deep down you were aprehensive when you went for the test results, any way great news.

As for the clowns that put needles in the cinema seats, when I was in Germany about 28 years ago, some spawn of satan had decided it would be good to break in to a pool and push stanly knife blades up through the plastic at the bottom of a swirly slide in the local waterworld. One adult and two children suffered appalling injuries when they were first down the following morning. It still makes me shudder to think of what happened to a family out for a bit of saturday morning fun. They never caught the sicko, but the town were obviously baying for blood.

6th Feb 2009, 13:26
Roger - That is appalling. What a bar steward scumbag.

6th Feb 2009, 13:30
One just doesn't know what to make of the human race anymore. What other creature does things like this, and this (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1135591/Gang-children--young-TEN--caught-slowly-roasting-puppies-bonfire.html) sort of thing? We have tried the understanding and patient approach, and it makes them worse. The other approach is to punish and exclude- lock up kids that do such things, punish drug addicts. I am fed up with working full time and very hard to be taxed to the hilt, under threat of instant dismissal with a positive drug test, to have my tax payments contribute towards benefits for idle scroungers and bludgers (Australian term) who are only too happy to spend a large part of my largesse on....drugs! There is something wrong here- their drug taking habits are positively protected by society. Why should they claim benefits and spend money on drugs and cigarettes? If they had a drug test every 6 months and had benefits halved each positive test, why wouldn't that be good? It would either REALLY encourage these creeps to give up or hasten them to their maker (and out of our hair!).

6th Feb 2009, 13:34
Rainboe - They'd just start (or maybe up the tempo of) mugging, burglarising etc.

Give them the drugs. Much cheaper in the long run and hopefully they won't need them for too long.....

R J Kinloch
6th Feb 2009, 17:51
Rainboe - They'd just start (or maybe up the tempo of) mugging, burglarising etc.

Give them the drugs. Much cheaper in the long run and hopefully they won't need them for too long.....

Couldn't agree more. Legalise it, give it to them for free and then they won't be burgling mugging etc.

You could always call it Evolution in Action

6th Feb 2009, 19:36
Best to fight the fire, not dampen down the smoke.


7th Feb 2009, 01:47
Roger Sofarover

This remind me what one of my 5 years old daughter (at the time) found in a children park hidden in the sand, right at the bottom of a slide she was about to use.
A nice quantity of broken glasses :mad:

I still have no idea how she didn't hurt herself just by picking up pieces and why she didn't when for the slide first.

How sick someone can be to imagine a traps like this is beyond me!

7th Feb 2009, 03:09
I guess it's about power.

If all you can do to influence the behaviour of someone else -- even if that person is a child -- is set a trap that will cause them injury, then I guess some people will do that, just to have manipulated someone else the way they perceive themselves to have been manipulated (correctly or not).

It's the same sort of mentality that motivates rape by means of spiked drinks, I think.

8th Feb 2009, 11:16
I think it's easy to adopt a "shoot the scum of the earth drug addicts..." stance.

Until you realise, they could very easilly be your kids.

DX Wombat
8th Feb 2009, 13:38
Not just that Ginger, but we need to remember that it is the dealers and pushers who got them hooked in the first place. THEY are the real guilty parties. :mad: