NORTH Ayrshire Council have moved to reassure parents and carers after an "addictive painkiller" was found in an Irvine Early Years Centre playroom.

The local authority confirmed that Oxycodone Hydrochloride pills were found in the three to five-year-olds' playroom at Castlepark Early Years Centre (EYC) on Thursday, July 13 during the afternoon. 

The Oxycodone tablets are an opiod painkiller often used to treat "severe pain", according to the NHS.

The drug is available on prescription and though they say that most adults and children aged one month and older can take oxycodone - babies, young children, and older people are more likely to get side effects.

The NHS website adds that "it is possible to become addicted to oxycodone".

A concerned parent contacted the Times about the discovery this morning after they were informed via email about three doses of the Oxypro (5mg) Oxycodone Hydrochloride being found in the playroom.

The parent said they feel the issue "is being swept under the carpet".

However, this morning, North Ayrshire Council confirmed that the medication had been been found at the EYC.

A spokesperson said: “During an afternoon session on Thursday at Castlepark Early Years Centre, in Irvine, staff discovered a small amount of medication in the three to five year-olds’ playroom.

“The Oxycodone Hydrochloride pills were still in their secure packaging.

“The children were immediately removed from the playroom, a thorough search of the area found nothing further, and an initial investigation has been carried out."

They also added that they are continuing to take steps to ensure the safety of all children at the centre.

The spokesperson added: “The safety of our children is paramount, and we are confident that all health and safety protocols were carried out.

“However – as a precaution – we advised parents and carers to be vigilant with their children and, if they are concerned, to follow normal NHS advice.

“Parents and carers have also been advised that they can contact our Early Years Coordinators for support and guidance if they have any concerns.

“The centre is open, as normal, today following a thorough deep clean overnight.”