INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. -- For many kids the best part of a parade is the candy thrown into the crowd, but, it was how that candy was distributed by Cub Foods at a parade last weekend, that has some parents upset.
"A lady came by handing out prescription pill bottles with candy in them for the kids, Laffy Taffy and such," said Brian Leonida, father of three.
When Leonida got home from the Inver Grove Heights Days Parade on Saturday he showed the pill bottle to his wife. Inside was candy and a coupon for the store's pharmacy.
"We all have pill bottles at the house and so kids are going to look at the bottle and say, "Oh, I got this at the parade, this one is going to have candy in it,"" said Brian's wife Katrina.
She was upset about the message it sent to kids. Understandably so, says Dr. Jon Cole.
"It's one of the most common calls to the poison center," said Cole, Medical Director of the Hennepin Regional Poison Center.
Dr. Cole says kids often confuse candy and medicine because they look much alike, both are small and colorful. He suggests that you keep medications up high and locked up if possible.
"We also recommend that you not take medications in front of your kids if you have young children at home because kids are creatures who imitate, and if they see the behavior, they'll replicate it," he said.
Katrina and Brian Leonida weren't the only people to complain to Cub. Monday night, Supervalu, which is parent company to Cub, issued this statement:
"First and foremost, we want to apologize to those who were upset by this action. The intention was to raise awareness about our local store's pharmacy services, including flu shots, as well as provide savings to area residents. Additionally, we wanted to offer wrapped candy for parade attendees. Choosing to combine the two was an error in judgment and we fully understand the concerns some attendees have expressed. This was an isolated incident that we regret and we've taken steps to ensure this doesn't happen in the future."
Ultimately a teaching moment for kids, and a marketing lesson for one company.
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