CBS Local — A disturbing new study in France has found that the number of toddlers sent to the emergency room for being accidentally intoxicated by marijuana has jumped by 133 percent in the last decade.
The study, conducted from 2004 to 2014, also reportedly shows that calls to poison control centers about children intoxicated by pot had soared by over 300 percent. The skyrocketing numbers of ER trips was linked to higher concentrations of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, being used in the drug’s production.
“I was surprised by the increase of admissions in my unit,” said lead author Dr. Isabelle Claudet. The researchers looked at 235 children who were affected by the marijuana intoxication. 71 percent of the toddlers were 18 months old or younger.
“The data was pretty concerning, but certainly not surprising,” said Dr. Allen Dozor of the Children’s Environmental Health Center in Valhalla, New York. Dr. Dozor, who was not part of the research team, scolded the use of powerful narcotics around children that young. “Again, for the thousandth time, young children are incredibly sensitive to toxins. As drugs go, cannabis is pretty well-tolerated, but not in a kid who’s a year old,” Dozor added.
The concern about young children being harmfully exposed to marijuana continues to grow in the U.S. as more states legalize the drug. Similar calls to U.S. poison control centers reportedly increased by 147 percent from 2000 to 2013.