As legal pot grows, more kids sickened by edibles at home

By JONEL ALECCI. AP

The number of young kids, especially toddlers, who accidentally ate marijuana-laced treats rose sharply over five years as pot became legal in more places in the U.S., according to a study published Tuesday.

More than 7,000 confirmed cases of kids younger than 6 eating marijuana edibles were reported to the nation’s poison control centers between 2017 and 2021, climbing from about 200 to more than 3,000 per year.

Nearly a quarter of the children wound up hospitalized, some seriously ill, according to a new analysis in the journal Pediatrics.

And those are just the reported cases, said Dr. Marit Tweet, a medical toxicologist with the Southern Illinois School of Medicine, who led the study.

Cases of kids eating pot products such as candies, chocolate and cookies have coincided with more states allowing medical and recreational cannabis use. Currently ,37 U.S. states permit use of marijuana for medical purposes and 21 states regulate adult recreational use.

Tweet called for greater vigilance by parents and for more laws like those adopted by several states to make pot products — often packaged to look like kids’ candies and snacks — less appealing and accessible to children.

“When it’s in a candy form or cookies, people don’t think of it in the same way as household chemicals or other things a child could get into,” she said. “But people should really be thinking of it as a medication.”

Tweet and her colleagues analyzed reports to the National Poison Data System, which includes the nation’s 55 regional poison control centers. More than half of the children were toddlers, ages 2 and 3, the study showed. More than 90% got the edibles at home.

“They’re the ones starting to explore and to get up and move around,” she said.

Of more than 7,000 reports, researchers were able to track the outcomes of nearly 5,000 cases. They found that nearly 600 kids, or about 8%, were admitted to critical care units, most often with depressed breathing or even coma. Nearly 15% were admitted to non-critical care units and more than a third were seen in emergency rooms. Drowsiness, breathing problems, fast heart rate and vomiting were the most common symptoms.

The results are not surprising, said Dr. Brian Schultz, a pediatric emergency physician at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. He previously worked at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he and his colleagues treated kids who had eaten pot edibles “almost on a daily basis,” he said.

Reports and hospitalizations rose during the last two years of the study, during the COVID-19 pandemic. More children were at home, with more opportunities to find pot treats, Tweet said. With marijuana more widely legal, parents may have felt less stigma seeking help from poison centers and health care providers, she added.

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

 

Panorama Hispano is the regional news and information newspaper for Hispanic and other diverse communities.

US Hispanics are now the largest ethnic minority in the United States numbering 54.2 million as of July 2014. Serving: Buffalo, Rochester, Fredonia, Niagara Falls, NY and Erie, PA. Outside our Market area: Visit our affiliate at: http://www.impremedia.com/

Contact us: Contact@PanoramaHispanoNews.com

Featured News

Apr 12, 2024
Judge dismisses lawsuits filed against rapper Drake over deadly Astroworld concert

HOUSTON (AP) — Hip-hop artist Drake has been dismissed from a lawsuit over the deadly 2021 Astroworld festival in Houston in which 10 people […]

Read More
Apr 12, 2024
México solicita expulsar a Ecuador de la ONU

Según el portal de pertenencia y membresía de la ONU, una nación revocada podría mermar sus relaciones diplomáticas y de comercio […]

Read More
Apr 12, 2024
The United States and Canada both advance to the semifinals of women’s world hockey championships

ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) — Alex Carpenter and Abbey Murphy each had two goals, and the United States scored six times […]

Read More

popular categories

Featured (4,858)
Mundo Latino (1,971)
Locales / Regional (1,022)
Buffalo (2,014)
Dunkirk (1,589)
Rochester (1,568)
PA (1,165)
Negocios / Tecnología (938)
Tecnología y Science (192)
Salud (537)
Deportes (782)
Entretenimiento (719)
Extras (396)
Movies (202)
Viajes, Vida y Estilo (656)
Copyright © 2024 Panorama Hispano News. All Rights Reserved.
crossmenuchevron-downmenu-circlecross-circle
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram