'Significant number' of Canadian children needed care after ingesting edible cannabis, pediatricians say
CBC News
June 27, 2019

16 reported cases of harm involving those under 18 between September and December


Samples of edible cannabis-based products are displayed during the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition. In six cases, those under 18 accidentally ate or were exposed to cannabis that belonged to a parent or caregiver, Canadian pediatricians say. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Preliminary research by the Canadian Paediatric Society found "a significant number of young children" required medical care after ingesting cannabis in the months surrounding legalization last October.

The Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program says it collected 16 reported cases of serious adverse events involving recreational cannabis between September and December 2018.

They include six cases of kids younger than 18 who accidentally ate edibles and one case of accidental exposure. In each case, the cannabis belonged to a parent or caregiver.

Four other cases of exposure were not accidental, although the society could not share more information.

Details surrounding the five other reports were not immediately available, including how the kids were exposed to cannabis, their ages and whether exposure was accidental or not.

The surveillance program defines "adverse events" as all cases in which kids are harmed by cannabis consumption, including injuries that may result from use by another individual, such as a friend or parent who is under the influence of cannabis.

The two-year study will collect data until October 2020. The cannabis data was released Thursday, along with details from several other research projects underway.

"The number of cases involving young children is striking," Christina Grant, a pediatrician in Hamilton and co-principal investigator, said Thursday in a release. "These early results highlight the urgency of prioritizing the needs of children and youth in policy and education initiatives, especially as edibles become legalized later this year."