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Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Parents, Secure Your Edibles!

Posted By: Advancing Care
Halloween Edibles
Getty Images

By Rita Ross

With Halloween approaching, parents should be on the lookout for “cannabis candy,” which contains THC, a compound found in marijuana. Parents should also secure edibles they may have at home.

Recreational use of THC is now legal in New York State for the over-21 crowd, and some cannabis edibles are sold to adults in packaging that’s easily mistaken for name-brand candy. These products can spell danger if consumed by kids.

“We’ve seen an uptick, with roughly three to five accidental THC-ingestion hospitalizations per month, ranging from toddlers to teens,” says Darshan Patel, MD, Section Chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth). “They may present with symptoms like sleepiness, difficulty walking or vomiting,” Dr. Patel adds.

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There’s no specific antidote for excessive THC ingestion, Dr. Patel explains. “We offer supportive therapies, such as medication to stop vomiting, IV fluids for dehydration and oxygen for shortness of breath.”

He says most incidents of children consuming THC-infused items are accidental. For example, a child might discover edibles that have been stashed in an accessible drawer or baked goods, like marijuana brownies or THC snacks, which their parents accidentally left out.

Dr. Patel offers tips for parents to keep THC-infused edibles away from kids: “Always store products containing THC out of the reach of children,” he says. “Sort through their Halloween candy after parties or trick-or-treating, and check the wording on packages. With THC edibles, ingredients might be printed in very small letters, and there is sometimes a marijuana leaf on the bag.”

If you suspect a child has ingested THC, adds Dr. Patel, “call 911 and get them to an ER. It’s important to seek medical attention; we also need to rule out other possibilities in terms of a medical diagnosis.”