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UPDATE: Pills among candy unintentional, NRP says

Police are warning the public to thoroughly check Halloween candy after prescription pills were found in a trick-or-treater’s bag in St. Catharines.

Niagara Regional Police were called to a Western Hill home at about 9:30 p.m. Monday.

Officers spoke with a concerned parent who reported finding four pills loose amongst their child’s candy collected during trick-or-treating.

The pills, determined to be a prescription muscle relaxant, were found when the child’s candy was being inspected.

The medication can be used to treat muscle symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis, including spasm, pain and stiffness, police said in a news release.

The child is believed to have collected candy in the areas of Rykert Street, Cummings Street, Merigold Street, Churchill Street, Chetwood Street, Pelham Road, Lloyd Street and Hillview Road.

“With children going to many houses, identifying where one item may have come from can be difficult,” NRP spokesman Const. Phil Gavin said when asked about the investigation that’s underway into the incident.

Late Tuesday night, police issued a news release stating they had identified the source of the pills and that they had unintentionally ended up with the candy.

Police said there is no reason to believe a criminal offence occurred.

The child's parents were notified of the outcome of the police investigation.

A public Facebook post regarding the discovery of the pills was posted Monday night by a St. Catharines woman who urged parents to be diligent when checking their children’s candy bags.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the post had been shared more than 2,000 times.

A second separate Niagara incident was also posted to social media Monday night, this time warning parents of shelled peanuts found in tampered candy boxes in Port Colborne.

That posting has received close to 800 shares.

Gavin said that as of Tuesday morning, police had only been notified of the single St. Catharines incident.

Last Halloween, the NRP received 12 calls in a number of municipalities about candy tampering, some including razor blades found within chocolate bars.

The incidents were investigated, but no arrests were made.

In all cases, there were no injuries.

Police are urging parents and children to check candy prior to eating it, looking for signs of unusual appearance or discolouration, tiny pinholes or tears in wrappers and spoiled or unwrapped items.

Homemade items, fruit or baked goods should be discarded unless accepted by someone you personally know, police said.

If something is found in the candy that appears to have been an attempt to cause injury, police should be called.