Discovering that your cat or dog has found its way into your stash of edibles is one thing. Unfortunately, reports of people’s kids mistakenly (or otherwise) eating some exclusively adult treats are growing all the time.
Truth is, it’s far from uncommon for weed-friendly households to eventually succumb to this kind of eventuality. Hence, it’s essential to know exactly how to act if you suspect your child (or any child) has accidentally consumed a weed edible.
Prompt action holds the key to ensuring things end well – don’t waste time running around in circles!
Realistically, it shouldn’t be too difficult to keep your edibles away from anyone and anything they pose a potential threat to. If that particular ship has sailed, you need to know what to do to ensure they’re ok.
Which, for the most part, means taking the following steps immediately after noticing a suspected edible incident:
1. Make Sure it Wasn’t Your Dog (Or Anyone Else)
Before flying into a fit of blind panic, consider for just a second or two whether it was definitely your kid that ate the edible. Are you 100% sure you didn’t just move them somewhere else and forgot about it? Or could your dog/cat be the culprit after all?
Very different action needs to be taken if one of your pets gained access to your edibles. Though in most cases, it’s not nearly as serious a situation as when a child mistakenly consumes high-THC products.
2. Call the Emergency Services Immediately
Depending on the strength and quantity of the edibles the child consumed, it may or may not be necessary to take them to hospital. However, this is a decision you do not have the knowledge or experience to make. You’ll need professional advice immediately after finding the edible has gone missing, which means swallowing your pride and calling the emergency services.
The operator on the other end of the line will tell you exactly what to do, along with whether or not you should take your kid to the hospital right away, wait for an ambulance or administer care at home. Don’t attempt to simply make things up as you go along – call the emergency services as quickly as possible.
3. Be Ready to Give Plenty of Information
At this point in time, downplaying things or missing key points of information is the worst thing you can do. You’ll need to be 100% honest with the operator on the other end of the phone, with regard to what’s been eaten, how much has being consumed and exactly how strong it was. Edibles with a massive THC content being an entirely different story to those that contain just trace amounts of THC, perhaps coupled with plenty of CBD.
You’ll also need to think carefully about how long ago you suspect the child consumed the edible (or edibles) in question.
4. Stay Calm and Rational
Easier said than done, but staying calm and rational is essential for two reasons. First of all, you need to be in a fit state to converse with the operator on the other end of the phone and do exactly as they say. Secondly, any indication that you are even remotely stressed or anxious could push a THC-intoxicated child over the edge.
Remember that however distressing and difficult the situation may be, there’s never been a recorded instance of THC edibles causing severe or permanent harm to anyone. Things will be OK in the end, but you need to take control of the situation in the meantime.
Identifying the Signs of Cannabis Ingestion
For the most part, the indications that a child has consumed THC are relatively similar to those that apply to adults. Though for obvious reasons, the signs and symptoms of THC will be much more pronounced and severe in a child – particularly those of a younger age.
Any indication of the following should therefore be taken seriously:
- Redness of the eyes
- Dizziness and disorientation
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Panic or paranoia
- A rapid heart rate
- Confusion or clumsiness
Interestingly, studies have suggested that the primary indication of accidental THC consumption in children is lethargy and drowsiness. Children who accidentally consume THC often fall into a deep sleep before displaying any other prominent signs or symptoms. What is shatter and how can it affect children is not well studied.
However, even when a child who is suspected to have consumed THC falls asleep, it is still essential to take the situation seriously and seek medical advice.
How Dangerous is Cannabis for Kids?
For the most part, acute cannabis intoxication on a strictly one-off basis isn’t considered particularly dangerous – even where kids are concerned. It can lead to several hours of confusion, distress, upset and nausea (for parents and kids alike), but hasn’t been linked with any severe long-term consequences.
The potential risks associated with cannabis are associated more with prolonged long-term consumption from an early age. There’s never been a recorded case of a fatal cannabis overdose, nor has the one-off consumption of THC been linked with any particularly severe psychological or physiological consequences.
Nevertheless, relatively little research has been carried out into the effects of high quantities of THC when consumed by children. Hence, it is important to treat the situation with urgency, rather than taking any chances.
Will I Be in Trouble with the Authorities?
It depends entirely on your jurisdiction and how heavy-handed the authorities are with regard to cannabis use and misuse. Assuming cannabis edibles are legal or to some extent tolerated in your area, you’ll probably get away with a stern warning. If all types of cannabis are expressly forbidden with something of a zero-tolerance policy, you could be handed a fine or face an appearance in court.
Not that any of this matters – the consequences for you personally should be the last thing on your mind. It’s an accident that can and does happen (though really shouldn’t), at which point your only priority is ensuring the child in question is okay.
You can worry about the potential consequences for yourself a little further down the line!