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Study suggests 'significant' number of kids at risk from edible cannabis

Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program found 16 cases of adverse events involving cannabis between September and December 2018

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 (CPSP) 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 Halton 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.''

The CPSP is a network of 2,700 Canadian pediatricians and pediatric sub specialists. It is a partnership between the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Paediatric Society.

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