FRIDAY, March 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Cupcakes, brownies and candies containing marijuana can look irresistible to kids -- but eating even one treat might poison them, a leading group of U.S. pediatricians warns.
With marijuana legal in recreational or medicinal form in more than half of U.S. states, edible forms are a popular alternative to smoking pot. But, parents must take steps to keep these potential temptations away from their children, says the American Academy of Pediatrics.
A single pot cookie or candy bar can contain several times the recommended adult dose of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
Eating one of these edibles can cause overdose effects such as intoxication, altered perception, anxiety, panic, paranoia and heart problems, according to a news release from the doctors' group.
Here are some tips from the pediatricians for keeping your children away from pot-enhanced foods and beverages:
- If you have marijuana edibles in your home, store them as you would medications and other potentially toxic products. Keep them in out-of-reach or locked locations, in child-resistant packaging or containers. Clearly label marijuana edibles, and store them in their original packaging.
- Never consume marijuana edibles in front of children, either for medical or recreational purposes. Seeing adults consume the products can tempt kids, and using them may impair your ability to provide a safe environment for children.
- Immediately after using them, put marijuana edibles back into the child-resistant packaging and an out-of-reach location.
- Ask family members, friends, caregivers and anyone else whose homes your children spend time in if they use marijuana edibles. If so, make sure they follow these guidelines while watching your children.
- If a child accidentally consumes a marijuana edible, call the free poison control hotline -- 1-800-222-1222 -- as soon as possible. If symptoms seem severe, call 911 or go to an emergency room right away.
- Talk to older children and teens about edible pot products. Explain the risks to their health and remind them to never drive under the influence of marijuana, or ride in a car with a driver who is under the influence of the drug.
The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about marijuana.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics, news release
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