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Kansas City doctors ‘prepared and anticipating’ uptick in children’s accidental marijuana ingestion

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Posted at 5:01 PM, Jan 04, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo — Poison control centers around the country are getting more calls about kids accidentally eating marijuana, specifically edibles.

A new study published this week details the rise of calls after accidental ingestion, more than 1,000 percent in the last five years.

“Kids find ways to reach into these places,” said University of Kansas Health System pediatric critical care physician Dr. Shawn Sood. “Unfortunately we’ve seen an increase in the number of accidental ingestions.”

With recreational sales in Missouri set to start in just more than a month, Sood said care teams are gearing up for more patients.

“With this legalization we’re already prepared and anticipating, just to have a couple more ICU beds for these accidental ingestions,” Sood said.

Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services regulates the entire marijuana industry. It requires any type of marijuana to stay in childproof packaging, even at home.

Dispensary owner Rob Sullivan recommends another layer of protection.

“You can have a lock box with a combination,” Sullivan said. “I just had a safe beside my bed. Punch it in, put it in there and when I want it, I get it out.”

When our team tested out some of the state-approved childproof packaging, many options were difficult to open.

“Some of these I have to get other people to open for me they are so childproof,” Sullivan said.

Sood warns if an accident does happen at home, parents need to be honest.

“They are so scared about legal repercussions,” Sood said. “I encourage parents to be up front and transparent with their physicians because I am here and we are here as a team… to be an advocate and take care of your child.”

Recreational marijuana sales in Missouri are set to begin on February 6, 2023.