State health officials, lawmakers warn of risks edibles pose to children
FARMINGTON, CT (WFSB) - The legalization of recreational marijuana led to a warning to parents about the dangers edibles pose to children.
Representatives from the state Department of Consumer Protection, UConn Health, the state Poison Control Center, and state lawmakers and officials, held a news conference at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in Farmington:
According to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, the number of children who have accidentally ingested cannabis products spiked between 2017 and 2021.
In 2017, there were a little more than 200 cases of accidental consumption by children. In 2021 the number jumped to 3,054, an increase of 1,375 percent, the study said.
The study indicated that most of the children treated for cannabis consumption found the products in their own home. About 30 percent required hospitalization which included critical care.
Officials said cannabis edibles sold in the illicit market and some other states can often look like popular candy or other common snack foods, which can lead children to accidentally eat the products.
“For parents that have edibles at home, don’t refer to them as candy. Don’t treat them like candy,” says Dr. Suzanne Doyon, the medical director of the Connecticut Poison Control Center.
Doctors and state officials are urging parents to use common sense and be cautious about where edibles are stored.
Edibles are supposed to be individually wrapped and sold in child restraint containers, but Attorney General Tong says that isn’t always the case.
“There are very strict requirements and guidelines as to what you can sell. What the THC content of those products may be and how you can market and package those products,” says Tong.
Attorney General Tong and Senator Blumenthal say they are working on the enforcement gap for holding people accountable who sell counterfeit products.
Doctors recommend parents should save a number for poison control in their phones and to immediately call if they think their child may have accidentally ingested an edible.
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