Friday, January 27, 2023

More kids accidentally ate marijuana candy

The number of children, especially young children, who accidentally ate marijuana candy has risen sharply in the five years since cannabis became legal in more places in the United States, according to a study published Tuesday.

More than 7,000 confirmed cases involving children under the age of 6 were reported to the nation’s poison control centers between 2017 and 2021, an increase from about 200 per year to more than 3,000.

According to a new analysis in the journal Pediatrics, nearly a quarter of children admitted to the hospital were seriously ill.

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

Cases of children eating marijuana products such as candy, chocolate and cookies have coincided as more states allow medical and recreational use of cannabis. Currently, 37 states in the United States allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes and 21 regulate recreational use for adults.

The tweet called for more laws to increase parental vigilance and make marijuana products, which are often packaged to look like candy and snacks, less attractive and accessible to children.

From more than 7,000 reports, the researchers were able to trace the results of approximately 5,000 cases. They found that nearly 600 children (8%) were admitted to intensive care units, most of the time with depressed breathing or even in a coma. About 15% were admitted to non-critical care units and more than a third were seen in emergency rooms. The most common symptoms were drowsiness, breathing problems, rapid heart rate and vomiting.

A pediatric emergency physician at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Dr. As Brian Schultz said, the results are not surprising. He previously worked at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC, where he and his colleagues treated children who used marijuana almost daily.

During the last two years of the study, the number of reports and hospitalizations increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The more kids were home, the more opportunity there was to find treats, the tweet said. She added that with the more widespread legalization of marijuana, parents may feel less stigma about seeking help.

Nation World News Desk
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