Kids find syringes at Portland Easter egg hunt

"Welcome to the big city" a parent wrote on Facebook

The bottle of syringes found by the family while Easter egg hunting. (Facebook)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Children searching for Easter eggs at a Southeast Portland playground on Sunday found something unexpected that carried serious risks.

KOIN 6 News learned a group of neighbors organized the private Easter egg hunt at the park on SE 52nd Avenue near Woodstock Boulevard. The park is owned by a Catholic church but is available for public use.

When kids on Sunday fanned out to search for eggs with goodies inside, one of them ran back to his parents asking if he had found the golden egg. He was holding a clear water bottle filled with new and used syringes, some without caps.

Some parents at the Easter egg hunt were nurses, and knew the needles could have been contaminated with Hepatitis C, which can be spread through infected blood.

Parent Geoffrey Halsey said he’s grateful the syringes were in a container.

“I don’t feel overreacting to it is necessary,” Halsey said. “We handled it low-key.”

One parent took the syringes to a local disposal location. The Multnomah County Health Department has 2 needle drop sites on each side of the Willamette River.

Police say the number of discarded needles around Portland is out of control.