Accidental ingestions of cannabis edibles in young children up

Press Staff Writer

        The number of states where recreational use of marijuana is legal has more than doubled in the past five years from eight states in 2017 to 18 (including Washington, DC) in 2022.
        A new study, “Pediatric Edible Cannabis Exposures and Acute Toxicity: 2017–2021,” in the February 2023 “Pediatrics” journal found that the rates of accidental poisoning by cannabis edibles in children ages 5 and younger is more than keeping pace.
        Researchers analyzed pediatric exposures to edible cannabis products in children under age 6 from 2017-2021 in the National Poison Data System and found of the 7,043 exposures over the period, the number of cases rose from 207 cases in 2017 to 3,054 cases in 2021, an increase of 1,375%.
        Of the children who were exposed, 2-year-olds accounted for the largest share, 27.7%, followed by 3-year-old children, 24.6%, and toddlers under age 1 were just 1.9%. Most found the edibles at home – 97.1% in a residence and 90.7% in their own home.
        Of the exposures, 22.7% of patients were admitted to the hospital, and there were significant increases in both intensive care unit (ICU) and non-ICU hospital admission. There were no deaths.
        Researchers concluded that unintentional cannabis exposures in young children are increasing rapidly, and prevention strategies such as packaging, labeling and other controls are needed to decrease these exposures as most edibles – packaged to look like common candies, chocolates and cookies – are attractive to young children.


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