Poison center sees dangerous rise in kids eating pot edibles

Kids are ending up at the emergency room after eating marijuana edibles and the Michigan Poison Center believes that trend will continue until more adults are more responsible with their weed-infused snacks.

More children are being poisoned by marijuana edibles according to the Michigan Poison Center located at Wayne State University. So far this year the poison center received more than 420 calls for marijuana exposure. About 104 of them were for minors.
More than half were pediatric calls involving edibles like brownies and gummies. Many of those poisoned were under 6 years old.

"Little kids, kids under six can get very ill," said Dr. Cynthia Aaron, Michigan Poison Center at WSU. "They mostly are confused, they may become comatose, they may walk around like they are drunk, and we have had a number of them end up on a breathing machine."

Aaron, the poison center's medical director, says the number of calls have skyrocketed. By this time in 2017, they received only six calls for young kids poisoned by edibles.  There's been 59 so far this year.

"Part of the problem is you bring home a Rice Krispies treat, and the dose for an adult is a third or a half," said Aaron. "And the child sees a Rice Krispies treat, and they eat the whole thing."

The uptick in kids eating edibles could stem from the 2018 legalization of recreational marijuana.

"A lot of our stuff comes pre-packaged and sealed before it leaves the shop and it is in the hands of the patient - and the patient only," said Garrett Abbott of Botaniq Detroit.

Botaniq, a medical marijuana dispensary in Detroit, says weed shops do their part to make it hard for kids to get a hold of edibles and its adults who have to do a better job of securing them.

"It is up to the patient to be responsible," Abbott said. "No matter what."

"The marijuana edible should be treated just like any other medication," said Aaron. "And be locked up out of the reach of children."

And the poison center is urging dispensaries that have not already, to put their number on edible wrappers. 

CLICK HERE for the Michigan Poison Center at Wayne State University or call 1-800-222-1222 for free expert poison help.