In recent years, an increasing number of U.S. states have legalized the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana.

Doctors advise parents to take extra precautions to keep their kids away from cannabis since it may be found in chocolate bars, gummy candy, cookies, chips, and beverages.

A new study has revealed that the number of young children in the US who accidentally ate marijuana-infused treats has significantly increased between 2017 and 2021.

During this time frame, there were over 7,040 instances of children under the age of six, including toddlers, being exposed to edible cannabis products, according to an analysis of data from the National Poison Data System.

The study found that in 2017, there were 207 reported cases of young children accidentally consuming edible cannabis products, while by 2021, that number had risen to 3,054.

According to the study, nearly a quarter of these children required hospitalization, with some experiencing serious illness. Symptoms included heart problems, confusion, vomiting, and difficulty breathing.

Study lead author and a medical toxicologist at  Southern Illinois School of Medicine Marit Tweet, says that parents should be more careful and that more laws should be passed to make pot products less appealing and easier for kids to get.

“When it’s in a candy form or cookies,” according to the lead author, “people don’t think of it in the same way as household chemicals or other things a child could get into. But people should really be thinking of it as a medication.”

Antonia Nemanich, a co-author of the study, agreed with the tweet. She said, “My stance is that it is not a problem that these products are legalized, but the problem is that they’re not packaged the way drugs or medications are packaged. We have a lot of safeguards in place for that.”

More states in the United States have legalized medical and recreational marijuana use, and at the same time, reports of youngsters eating pot­-laced sweets, chocolate, chips, and cookies have increased.

Currently, 21 states have allowed cannabis use for recreational reasons, while 37 states have authorized cannabis usage for medicinal purposes.

Image Credit: Ronen Tivony/NurPhoto via Getty Images


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