Toddler finds syringe in play area of McDonald's
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) - A fun afternoon quickly changed to a frightening experience for a metro family.
They went to the McDonald's restaurant at S.W. 134th and Western so their son could play in the children's area. However, their afternoon meal quickly took a scary turn.
SEE ALSO: Car goes off cliff during driving lesson
"I was stepping over him to go down the slide and put him on my lap," said Haleigh Wilkes. "Before I even sat down on the slide, Jeremiah said, 'Momma, this.' I turned around, and he's holding it, holding a needle in his hand."
Trying to stay calm, Haleigh took the syringe from her child, went with him down the slide and immediately showed her husband.
"Just the thought there's a needle in the play set, it's scary. I don't like it," said Brian Wilkes.
The needle clearly said "insulin" on the side.
"It's obviously an insulin needle, but it broke someone's skin," Brian said.
The couple said, even if it was simply used for a medical reason, the fact that it was left where a child could get it is concerning to them.
"If you, as a parent, see something that doesn't seem right, always contact the management," said Matt Brosh with the Oklahoma City County Health Department.
Officials at the health department suggest you always check the play areas before letting your children play.
They said the first thing to do if you find an issue is report it to management.
From there, you can file a complaint with the health department.
"If it's a licensed facility here in Oklahoma City - County, we will send an inspector out to double-check and make sure everything is done the correct way," Brosh said.
This family followed those steps, telling a manager.
However, they felt the issue was brushed aside.
"It just didn't seem like she was, like she was going to take care of anything," Haleigh said.
They even showed the manager the needle.
"She looked at it but wouldn't take it from my hand. She said, 'Oh, I guess we need to get someone in here to clean'," Haleigh said.
Officials with the city-county health department said, while concerning, this type of issue is rare.
"Most of these places do a great job," Brosh said.
The Wilkes said they likely won't be going back to the play area, but they do hope the restaurant will consider changes that could keep the area safer.
They would like to see the restaurant add a cleaning log so families can see when the area was last checked.
"Maybe they could sign off to say, 'Yes, it's still safe for these kids to play in here,'" Haleigh said.
Monday evening, NewsChannel 4 received this statement from McDonald's about the complaint:
"The health and safety of our customers and employees is always our top priority. We take these matters very seriously and, as soon as we were made aware of the incident, we began to gather facts and investigate. Until we have completed our investigation, it would inappropriate to speculate further."