The number of young children poisoned by eating their parents’ pot brownies rose by 320% to record levels.
dr. Diane Calello, executive and medical director of the New Jersey Poison Control Center at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, told DailyMail.com that she had seen a significant increase in the number of children exposed to cannabis in recent years.
A study in the journal Pediatrics found a significant increase in the number of children under 11 who inadvertently consumed edible cannabis after marijuana was legalized in the 18 states, District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam.
Calello said that every time a drug or substance became more available, there were more poisonings, “and if you make that as attractive as edible cannabis…”
Calello said the problem with edibles was that they resembled candy or treats like brownies or cakes — making them irresistible to young children. A child would probably also eat an entire candy bar of edibles – which would be multiple doses.
The number of young children poisoned by eating their parents’ pot brownies rose by 320% to record levels (stock image)
She said she had seen a national and local trend of exposing children to edibles after an increasing number of states chose to legalize or decriminalize cannabis.
New Jersey voted to legalize marijuana in 2020, causing police and residents to relax their stance on the drug until it was finally signed into law in February 2021.
National Incidence of Edible Cannabis Poisoning
CHILDREN UNDER FIVE
CHILDREN AGE 6-12
“We saw a big jump (in poisonings) in 2020,” Calello said, adding that more people staying at home looking to ease their fears during pandemic lockdowns could also affect the numbers.
The medical director of the New Jersey Poison Control also rejected the idea that marijuana was harmless and the myth that one cannot overdose on marijuana.
“It can be dangerous for a child,” she told us. “Seizures in adults are extremely rare, but in children they need much less to get very sick.”
Calello added that she had personally looked after a child who had a seizure due to a cannabis overdose and another who had to be on a ventilator.
Even mild symptoms can be very distressing to a young child.
In 2021, the New Jersey Poison Control Center assisted in the treatment of 150 children – 99 of those under the age of five – who were eating edible cannabis.
For children under five, this rose from 73 in 2020 and just 31 cases in 2019. In two years, the number of incidents increased by 320%.
Nationally, cases have risen in recent years, from 187 cases among children aged 6-12 in 2016 to 370 in 2019.
But between 2019 and 2020, things skyrocketed.
34 states and Washington DC have legalized marijuana in some form, including recreational, medical, and sale
In the same age group, cases rose by 573 from 370 to 943.
According to data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers, cases for the under-five age group rose from 957 in 2019 to 2119 in 2020.
In total, more than 3,000 children had to be treated for cannabis exposure by 2020.
“We certainly don’t have a shortage of kids using parental marijuana products. Usually they are children from 2 to 6 years. It almost always involves edible products in the form of brownies or cookies or other things that children reasonably think are good to eat,” said Dr. Eric Lavonas, a toxicologist at the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Safety in Denver, told US News.
dr. Diane Calello, executive and medical director of the New Jersey Poison Control Center at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, told DailyMail.com that every time a drug became more available, there were more cases of poisoning.
“The children will come in very changed and unable to interact with their environment, often throwing up,” he said. “The biggest danger is making sure it isn’t something else and that the child doesn’t become dehydrated.”
Even in states that have not yet legalized cannabis, Americans’ attitudes to the drug, and its availability thanks to states that have legalized or decriminalized cannabis, mean that access is wider than ever.
More than 90 percent of Americans now think marijuana should be legal in some form, and nearly two-thirds say they support the legalization of both medicinal and recreational use, according to a new survey.
Less than one in ten — or 8 percent — said marijuana shouldn’t be legal for use, according to the Pew Research Center study.
The poll was done after Virginia and New York took steps to legalize marijuana last year.
Calello recommends locking marijuana products and avoiding products packaged with cartoon characters and bright colors that may attract children.
More than 90 percent of Americans now think marijuana should be legal in some form, with nearly two-thirds saying they support the legalization of both medicinal and recreational use, according to a survey
A Pew survey shows that majorities across all age groups — excluding those over 75 — believe marijuana should be legal for both medicinal and recreational use
Source: | This article is originally from Dailymail.co.uk
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