If a 3-year-old finds a cookie on the table, he will likely eat it.
With more states legalizing marijuana and a growing range of derivative products, it is not surprising that more children are exposed – including by eating marijuana foods. My research summary Published in the journal Pediatrics It found that between 2017 and 2019, there were 4,172 calls to regional poison control centers about cannabis exposure in infants and children up to age 9. About half of the calls were related to eating.
The frequency of these calls and the percentage related to eating increased over the two-year period. Not surprisingly, exposures are more common in states where marijuana use is legal as it is in those that are not.
More calls about foods that involve young children
The most common age group was children between the ages of 3 and 5, which makes sense: This is the age at which they are old enough for parents to take their eyes off them for a minute or two, but not old enough to understand why they shouldn’t eat Which – which Brownie, bear candy, or a bar of chocolate.
Fortunately, the effects of this exposure were mostly minor – but in 15% they were moderate, and in 1.4% they were severe. In rare cases, severe ingestion can lead to difficulty breathing or even coma. This Food problemIt’s hard to know how much cannabis is in each one, it’s easy to eat a lot, and the effects can last for a long time.
It is also important to remember that this was just a study of calls to poison centers. It’s impossible to know how many exposures were never reported – including how many exposures were not noticed by parents or caregivers.
Safety first: children and hemp
Obviously, some regulations will be required about safe labeling and packaging for children. But as an immediate step, parents and others should not buy marijuana foods that might appeal to children (just as it is better not to buy detergent capsules that look like candy). If you are buying an edible marijuana that a child may want to eat, it should be stored safely and always out of reach.
When parents bring their kids to visit friends, it can be a good idea to add marijuana food items to their list of safety issues to inquire about. Think of something along the lines of, “Hey, our daughter is still young and curious, so we’d like to ask about things like matches, guns, medicines, marijuana foods, or other things that might be dangerous to her if she gets into it. Anything that might be within her reach? ”
It might be a little awkward, but if you make it quick and routine, you can reduce the embarrassment. And in the end, it is worth a little bit of embarrassment to keep your little one safe.
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