Is it more fun to play at the beach and probably not be stabbed with a needle or to not play at the beach and definitely not get stabbed with a needle? That’s the question many New Yorkers are wrestling with today after a fourth person was pricked by medical waste and had to be taken to the hospital.

The incidents have all occurred in the past three weeks, and while none of the victims have been diagnosed with anything weird, they’ve still had their afternoons ruined. The latest, a lifeguard working in Queens, stepped on a needle near 139th street. In response, the Parks Department issued a statement saying the beaches are cleaned daily but because of budget cuts maybe not as thoroughly as needed.

Parks advocate Geoffrey Croft told NBC News the administration needs to get its act together and handle the problem immediately, but as of press time, it’s unclear whether the mayor considers the incidents important enough to redistribute any funds.

It’s likely the city would have already sent men out to sort through the mess if the stabbings had all occurred in one location, but because they’ve happened at Rockaway, Cedar Grove and South Beach, the potential clean up isn’t exactly a one day job. In fact, it would probably take hundreds of men to even do a cursory inspection.

Until then, residents will continue asking themselves whether the joy of laying out is better than the horror of catching God knows what.

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