PORTLAND -- A 6-year-old boy's mother said she was stunned when she saw the boy pick up a used syringe in the shrubs at Keller Fountain Park in downtown Portland Thursday.

Emily Brent-Fulps said the boy had pulled out the plunger before she told him to drop it, but he wasn't poked.

She said other children in the park Tuesday afternoon were barefoot and could easily have been stuck by the uncapped needle.

Going downtown to play in the water, you would think, like, 'Oh my son's going to get a sunburn,' she told KGW. You don't think they're going to pick up a used syringe off the ground.

Portland Parks and Recreation spokesman Mark Ross said the incident is distressing but not surprising. He said park staffers frequently pick up needles left by drug users in city parks.

They sweep the park for trash at least once daily.

The city advises parents to talk to their kids about syringes and let them know to alert an adult.

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