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College apologizes for 'Happy Pills' given to kids

The prescription bottles filled with M&M's were handed out by a Horry Georgetown Technical College faculty member at a Family Fun Run.

By Ben Hooper

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C., Feb. 17 (UPI) -- A South Carolina college apologized after a faculty member distributed prescription bottles of "Happy Pills" -- actually M&M's -- to young kids.

Horry Georgetown Technical College in Myrtle Beach confirmed a faculty member seeking to promote her medical technology program filled the bottles with M&M's candy and made mock labels for the bottles saying they were prescribed to "A Great Kid" and contained "Happy Pills."

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"Take 1 m&m every 2 to 4 hours... may refill 5 times by 2/13/2016." the labels read.

The college released a statement apologizing for the bottles being handed out to kids at Friday's Family Fun Run:

"While we know this professor meant the candy to serve as a treat, the method of distribution may have confused pre-school children whose parents have taught them not to take pills from pharmaceutical bottles. The college administration deeply apologizes for the distress and confusion this action may have caused and seeks your forgiveness for our thoughtlessness. We regret further that professors and administrators are human and, although eager to share information about growing careers, sometimes make mistakes. This particular mistake will not occur again."

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Dr. Dennis Rhoades of Doctors Care said 40 percent of calls to Poison Control are for children who consumed medicine, often because they mistook pills for candy.

"It's one of those situations where stop and think who are you giving those bottles to, you're giving them to children and it has candy in it and it's like gosh, that's one thing we've been trying to prevent for years, children thinking that medication is candy," Rhoades told WMBF-TV.

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