More kids in Arizona accidently eating marijuana edibles
Jan 10, 2023, 4:35 AM | Updated: 12:31 pm
The number of children accidentally eating marijuana edibles that often look like candy is soaring across the country, including in Arizona.
The Banner Poison and Drug Information Center has seen a steady increase in calls related to this, especially involving kids five years old and younger.
About 300 calls were received last year from people in Maricopa County, an increase of about 50 calls from the year prior. That’s according to Maureen Roland, a registered nurse and the center’s managing director.
“That steady increase is getting close to almost a call a day, and we have just seen those numbers continue to rise year over year,” Roland told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
The increase started after medicinal marijuana was legalized in Arizona in 2010. It jumped when recreational use was approved in 2020.
A new study in the medical journal Pediatrics shows reports of kids under the age of six who were exposed to edible cannabis products in the United States increased more than 1,300% between 2017 and 2021.
Of all the reported cases in the study, nearly a quarter of patients were admitted to the hospital.
“Kids can get pretty sick with this, actually, depending on how much they’ve consumed,” Roland said, adding it also depends on their age and weight. “The majority of the time, especially with the five and under, we’re having to send them into an emergency room for monitoring.”
Symptoms kids experience after consuming edible cannabis products include drowsiness, nausea and vomiting.
“If they have deep lethargy and they’re not breathing appropriately, and then if they have vomiting on top of that, that can cause an aspiration where they get vomit into the lungs,” Roland said. “That can be a life-threatening situation.”
She advises parents and caregivers keep edibles away from kids. That includes not using these products in front of children, because they tend to imitate what they see.
Roland also recommends calling (800) 222-1222 right away if a child consumes edible marijuana products. Callers will be connected to their closest poison and drug information center.