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Edibles are bring diverted to children

Dr. Sharon Levy, a pediatrician and director of the Adolescent Substance Use and Addiction Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, said the increase indicates a critical lapse in the way parents are thinking about these products.

“They are putting these cookies and chocolates in the refrigerator, and we would never do that with other drugs,” Levy said. “Parents lock up things they think are dangerous, but they are thinking marijuana is safe.”

The numbers jumped from 13 calls about children 5 and younger ingesting marijuana from December 2017 to June 2018 to 37 calls from December 2018 through June, which is more than one call a week.

Overall, calls about these very young children accounted for more than 25 percent of all the marijuana-related calls the center recorded in those seven months, compared with just 14 percent during the same period in 2018. The total number of marijuana calls to the poison control center rose by more than 58 percent.
Sheroff, the poison control nurse, said some of the calls are from physicians who are not used to encountering such young, marijuana-exposed patients and are asking for guidance. While each case is different, Sheroff said in many instances she advises physicians to admit these youngsters to the intensive care unit with a cardiac monitor, because they are so lethargic.

Sheroff said the center has not recorded a death from these young exposures.
The spike in calls about such young children mirrors a trend witnessed in other states after recreational marijuana was legalized. The state of Washington’s poison center has recorded a near tripling of calls about children 5 and younger since July 2014, when the state’s first recreational shops opened.