Child steps on syringe at Islington park

A park has been forced to close after a child stepped on a syringe lying on the floor.

The girl, thought to be six years of age, is believed to have stood on the implement at a summer holiday activity session at the Lumpy Hill adventure playground in Market Road, Holloway.

It is alleged that concerns were only raised when the child returned home and told her mother about the accident, which happened several weeks ago and is believed to have left her requiring medical attention and tests.

Lib Dem leader Terry Stacy said: “This is extremely concerning. I would hope that whoever runs a playground of this sort would ensure it is safe for the youngsters that use it. I’ve asked for a full investigation into how this happened.”

A concerned parent who has two children who use the park, which is run by a small committee of volunteers and parents but funded by Islington Council, said: “I’m absolutely disgusted, it’s obvious they aren’t doing their job properly. It’s frightening, it really scares me.”

The park management committee declined to comment and referred the Gazette to Islington Council.

A council spokesman said they could not talk about the specifics of the incident as they have no involvement in the management.

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But Cllr Richard Watts, Islington Council’s executive member for children and families, said that the council’s top priority was to ensure children are safe in the borough’s playgrounds.

He continued: “We have discussed the recent incident with the management committee and reminded them of the need to ensure Lumpy Hill operates safely at all times. As a result a number of improvements are being made. Until these are completed the playground will remain closed.

“We will carry out a thorough check to ensure the playground is safe before agreeing a re-opening date.”

Islington Play Association (IPA), a support organisation working in the borough to improve the play opportunities for children, is assisting the committee of the park to ensure the safety of the children using it.

Director Anita Grant explained that she could not comment on the park’s behalf as she was not party to all the facts of the incident but she did say that had been a “terrible accident” and that drug paraphernalia left in local parks was an unfortunate issue that the IPA is working to address.

She added: “Lumpy Hill has done some fantastic work over the last 30 years and this is a terrible accident and serious incident that needs to be dealt with. We are supporting them as much as we can.”

In the meantime, the nearest alternative provision is at Barnard Park and Crumbles Castle Adventure playgrounds.