Parents have been urged to be on their guard after what appears to be a number of potentially deadly diazepam tablets were found in a popular Fife park.
The shocking discovery was made by Kelty mum Stacey Thomson, who – along with hundreds of other parents – took her son Kynzli to Lochore Meadows Country Park on Wednesday afternoon to enjoy the Easter holiday sun.
But the eight-year-old discovered a small plastic capsule from a Kinder Surprise chocolate egg and was about to open it before his mum intervened.
Stacey was stunned to find blue pills resembling diazepam had been stashed in the container and immediately contacted authorities.
While relieved that Kynzli was unharmed, Stacey has called on all parents and carers to keep an eye on what their children are doing to avoid a more tragic outcome.
She said: “I was with K playing in the park and he found a little tub from a kinder egg.
“He kicked it and it rattled so picked it up thinking there was a toy inside.
“Thankfully I was there and instantly told him to pass me it first.
“I opened it and low and behold… drugs.
“I haven’t had any dealing with drugs in my life and had no clue what these are but I’m smart enough to know they’re lethal.”
Ms Thomson said her son would not have touched what was inside anyway, but stressed that was not the point.
“How many young kids would come across this and be excited to open it thinking there’s a little you in there and its in fact drugs?” she added.
“What if they put them in their mouth?
“This could have been fatal to one of the many children that were there.
“I’m glad we found them and eliminated the possibility of a small child becoming seriously ill.
“It’s an utterly disgusting thing to find at a children’s play park – Lochore Meadows need to check the kids play park regularly.”
The incident has prompted fresh concern about drugs in Fife, coming just three months after 10 pupils at Dunfermline High School fell ill after consuming unidentified tablets.
The youngsters are believed to have taken Valium tablets found outwith the school grounds. Four school pupils were hospitalised and a further six treated by paramedics at the school that afternoon.
In light of this week’s find, police were contacted and are investigating, while Lochore Meadows Country Park manager Ian Laing tried to reassure worried locals.
He stressed: “We want children to have fun and enjoy our play parks safely.
“Daily checks are carried out by our teams who do their best to make sure our parks are safe areas to play.”
Diazepam, marketed as Valium, is used mainly in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, and sometimes for alcohol and opiate withdrawal.
However, side effects include severe drowsiness and slowed breathing, while over dosage can result in coma and even death.