A young Bothell girl's artwork warns of the dangers of dirty needles in parks

BOTHELL, Wash. -- With this warm weather, so many of us are taking the opportunity to get the kids out of the house. But parents know the dangers that can lurk in the park, even on the sidewalks. The opioid epidemic has touched every community in our region.

Many parents are working to keep those parks clean and free of needles.

And a local teen is using her artwork to educate kids about the dangers. It revolves around a picture drawn two years ago by a girl named Daisy. At the time she was 12. It shows two small kids playing in the park and they discover a needle. The picture lists steps on what you can do to stay safe around drug needles.

Recently, the Bothell Police Department shared the photo on its twitter page. With warmer days ahead of us, Capt. Mike Johnson wants parents and kids to be safe while enjoying the sunshine. And while finding needles in those places might not be as prevalent in Bothell, compared to other cities, it’s still a real concern.

There’s a new push underway to tackle a visible and dangerous part of the opioid problem in Snohomish County. The health district, sheriff’s office and cities within the county have all teamed up to give people access to free needle-cleanup kits.

Johnson says on top of the cleanup, a colorful conversation needs to take place between parents and their kids.

“I have two young children and my wife and I are very concerned about what they might find on playgrounds, and so we have had that same talk with our kids who are 5 and 7 years old. It’s a scary time to be a parent,” says Johnson.

It might seem young, but tell that to this 14-year-old artist.

“I think that teachers should start teaching kids about it when they are young because there’s no age where you start going to a park and stop going to a park and they can be anywhere. The opioid problem is so close to us and we need to inform people on how to deal with it. You don’t have to know how to read or write or anything, you can just look at it and get the message,” says Daisy.