Calls to poison control rising from kids eating cannabis edibles
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The calls to the Missouri Poison Control Center about children having adverse reactions from consuming cannabis edibles are expected to double this year over the 2022 number, according to the center’s director, Julie Weber.
“We’re very concerned with the number of calls we’ve received with children getting into the cannabis edible products,” she said.
Weber said the call center received 125 calls in 2022 about children five years old and younger getting sick from eating cannabis edibles. She said 34% of the calls were about 2-year-olds.
The center is working with community groups to increase awareness about the need for parents who purchase edibles to keep them locked up and out of the reach of curious young hands.
Julie Hook with HOPE for Franklin County Coalition said her organization encourages adults to lock up prescription medications.
“So we need to start addressing that issue again when it comes to cannabis products. And encourage adults to secure products in their home that are cannabis products so that young people can’t get them,” said Hook.
HOPE for Franklin County Coalition and other community groups are working on flyers with safety tips. They hope to distribute the flyers to dispensaries to give out with the purchase of edible products.
According to Weber, children have experienced seizures, rapid heart rate, trouble breathing and some have been hospitalized. She said the agency’s call center was on track to receive twice as many calls to the hotline this year about children who have consumed cannabis edibles.
To help address the concerns, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is requiring dispensaries to only sell edibles in more muted packaging, which would be less likely to be mistaken for candy by a child. The deadline for stores is August 1st.
Weber said there are a variety of products parents can use to lock up edibles. She also recommended that parents keep the products in the original packaging and on a top shelf.
Contact Poison Control online at poison.org or by calling 800-222-1222.
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