As parents consume edibles, ERs see more children exposed to marijuana

Parents urged to keep track of THC-laced food

By Bill Shields
Copyright 2019 CNN

As more parents consume edibles, emergency rooms see more children exposed to marijuana.

WEYMOUTH, Mass. - When Massachusetts legalized marijuana, edibles immediately became a fan favorite. They can be cookies or gummies, or candy, but they're infused with THC, the chemical in marijuana that gets you high.

If a child gets a hold of them, they might not eat just one, and the medical results can be devastating.

"The younger the age, the more damaging a higher concentration edible would be to a child," said Dr. Jason Tracy, the head of emergency services at South Shore Hospital. "It's smaller body, higher intensity and therefore the clinical effects are much more intense."

Doctors say calls to the state's poison control centers have doubled since marijuana was legalized. The emergency room at South Shore Hospital has seen a dramatic increase in pediatric cases, often because parents did not secure their edibles and kids ingested them.

"The most concerning thing that we see is a child who becomes very lethargic and drowsy," said Dr. Tracy, "and children can go into a coma that can be life-threatening."

The Cannabis Control Commission offers Tips For Parents Who Consume on its public awareness website.

The Commission recently proposed draft regulations that marijuana products that appeal to children shall not be placed in a package easily opened with scissors.

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