A Boise mom is encouraging other parents to talk to their children about what to do if they find a used needle after her 11-year-old daughter picked one up in their driveway and brought it into their home.
"It was pretty scary," Veronica Allen said. "She thought it was her brother's medicine dropper so she brought it inside."
Veronica's 11-year-old daughter Analice was walking back from a neighbor's house Sunday afternoon when she found the needle at the foot of the driveway. After her daughter brought it inside, Veronica says she felt disgusted, terrified, and then guilty she'd never talked to her kids about what to do in that situation until then.
"Obviously fire safety, stranger danger, things like that but, 'what do you do if you find a syringe?' That's not something we've ever talked about," Veronica said.
After talking with her 11 and 7-year-old daughters, Veronica learned this wasn't the first time her girls had seen syringes in the Boise bench neighborhood.
"Ana told me that on their way walking to school one morning they had seen one next to some kind of a bottle," Veronica said.
Before disposing of the needle, Veronica took a picture and shared it on social media to warn neighbors. Dozens of comments indicate similar instances have occurred over the past few weeks.
"I had a friend whose son was stuck with one by another kid who found one and had to get testing for the next six months," Veronica said.
Boise Police say they've had 55 reports of needles and syringes found in the last year, but like in Veronica's case, many go unreported because citizens don't know to call law enforcement.
Boise Police urge anyone who finds a used needle to call non-emergency dispatch at (208) 377-6790 and an officer will dispose of the paraphernalia properly.