Pharmacist mum raises eyebrows over son's birthday treat to class

A pharmacist mum's choice of party favour has drawn criticism from concerned parents.
A pharmacist mum's choice of party favour has drawn criticism from concerned parents. Photo: Facebook

To celebrate their classmate's birthday, a group of Year Three students at a South Dakota primary school received prescription pill bottles filled with M&M's - and parents aren't impressed.

The concerned mum of a John Harris Elementary student took to Facebook to share a photo of the party favour, KDLT news reports.

The pill bottles are affixed with the label, "eat one M&M as needed".

"We have several concerns, as we have taught our children that medicine is NOT candy," the mum captioned the picture.

The concerned mum's Facebook post. Image/ KDLT news

They are concerns shared by local pharmacist Dan Peterson, who believes it's a message children need to understand. "That's one thing we're taught in school," Peterson told KDLT. "Don't ever associate medicine and candy because then kids have the potential to get into it and they potentially think it's candy."

And the consequences of this can be deadly.

"It could be something as mild as an upset stomach, but if it's the wrong medication, that is definitely a possibility unfortunately," Peterson said 


The prescription labels were printed from a local chemist, Lewis Drug's pharmacy, where the mother of the birthday boy is an employee. 

In a statement issued to KDLT, Lewis Drug advised that they were investigating.

"An investigation is underway and corrective action is being taken," a spokesperson said. "We will be meeting with employees to underscore the professional standards and employee policies ... which expressly prohibit this kind of situation from occurring."

For Peterson, the incident reinforces the importance of safety when it comes to children and prescription medicine.

"We have to keep everyone safe, we have to keep mom and dad's prescription medicine away from those who just honestly don't know what it's for," he said.

Officials at John Harris Elemenrary told KDLT that while the mother's choice of packaging for the party treats might "raise concerns for some", no school policies were broken.