• Officials In Washington Note That Marijuana Poisonings Among Children Keep Increasing

    Marijuana poisoning of children under five years of age is increasing, officials warn.

    Public health officials located in King County, Wash., released new data Wednesday showing that in 2014, marijuana intoxication for young children jumped by an astonishing 73 percent from the previous year. There were 38 cases reported in the county, Q13 Fox News reports.

    The same upward trend appears to be continuing through 2015, with 39 cases of marijuana intoxication reported as of May. Children comprise 30 percent of those cases, and 73 percent of young children end up in the hospital for observation. No deaths have taken place where marijuana was directly involved.

    Given the data is provided voluntarily, officials think the number of cases far exceeds the numbers on file. Some physicians, however, think the increase might be due to increased reporting because of efforts to advertise the Washington Poison Center’s hotline. Several producers have also decided to put the number of the hotline on their packaging, which may be partly responsible for the uptick.

    In the case of childhood exposure, what usually happens is that users leave edibles around the home in easily accessible locations. The edibles may take the form of candy or baked goods, which is a much more attractive form to young children. When these children ingest edibles, they sometimes experience psychotic-like symptoms, anxiety attacks, seizures and even comas.

    “The majority of pediatric poisonings occur unintentionally,” Dr. Alexander Garrard, the clinical managing director of the Washington Poison Center, told Q13. “Marijuana edibles left lying around on the coffee table or next to snacks can easily fall into the hands of young kids.”

    In June, a study published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics found marijuana intoxication has increased by 147.5 percent for children under five over the period from 2006 to 2013.  (RELATED: Number Of Toddlers Being Exposed To Marijuana Skyrockets)

    For states that permitted legal marijuana before 2000, exposure rates jumped by 600 percent.

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

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