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  • Writer's pictureJess Hope

Children & edibles. Why is there a rise in children being hospitalized?

Children & edibles.

Why is there a rise in children being hospitalized from accidental edible consumption?

In the last year, there has been a steady rise in children consuming cannabis edibles that are not from the regulated or legal market. These unregulated edibles are in packages that resemble popular food items such as Sour Patch KidsTM, Oreo Cookies, Skittles and other popular food items. These items are rebranded with such names as "Stoner Patch Kids" and "Stoneo Cookies". These packages are brightly coloured and closely resemble the original containers for these food items. These packages can be purchased online easily for anyone to use to make the edibles.

"Such poisonings roughly doubled in B.C., Nova Scotia and Quebec between 2019 and 2020. B.C. saw almost 100 cases in 2020. Ontario, Manitoba and Nunavut, which report their poisonings together, reported 166.
No fatal poisonings of children or youth involving just cannabis have been reported to Health Canada since legalization in 2018." - CBC News.

Why are these a concern?

Copycat products are branded to be similar to the food item they're modelled after. Still, they often contain large amounts of THC. In Canada, where cannabis is legal, legal edibles are capped at 10MG of THC, and they're packed in childproof packages. Licensed producers have stringent regulations they must follow when it comes to branding and packaging. These laws were put in place to protect children and prevent accidental overdoses.

Unfortunately, many companies still operate in the unregulated market. Many of these companies do not follow ANY of the health Canada regulations put in place. Their packages are not childproof and can contain up to 1000MG of THC or more. Cannabis NB or any other legal cannabis store does not sell any product that doesn't conform to Health Canada's quality control standards and guidelines. This includes packaging and THC levels.

How can this be prevented?

This can be prevented by parents being more diligent in locking up their edibles. We at Higher Living Jess realize accidents can happen, and children are curious creatures. This doesn't excuse willingly neglecting to lock up the edibles. Many of these situations can be prevented easily. If you're going to purchase unregulated cannabis products, have the common sense to lock them up as you would with any other medication.

What to do if your child accidentally consumes cannabis?

Please take them to the closest emergency department if adverse effects occur. Whereas there have been no reported fatalities from children consuming cannabis, complications such as rising heart rate and trouble breathing can occur.

  • Grab the package or write down the approximate dosage they consumed

  • Observe their symptoms; you know your child best if any looks out of the ordinary for them. Look for trouble breathing, balancing problems and drowsiness.

  • Call local poison control, and they'll walk you through what to do.

Please do not prevent bringing your child if you're concerned, especially if you're unaware of how much THC was consumed. Being honest and upfront with medical professionals as overconsumption of cannabis presents the same symptoms of Meningitis in children. In Canada, cannabis is legal, and you will not face any legal repercussions. Doctors will monitor your child's breathing, blood pressure and perform any other tests needed. There is no anecdote for the over consumption of cannabis, so be prepared to wait it out.

As a parent myself, I'm very diligent in making sure my child is educated. My cannabis products are out of reach. Please take the time to lock things up properly to prevent these situations from arising. It is your responsibility as a parent to protect your children at all costs, end of the story.

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