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Doctors, poison control warn about spike in kids getting sick from cannabis products, opioids

ATLANTA — An emergency room doctor is warning about a spike in children getting sick from edibles, cannabis products and tainted drugs.

“It can be really hard to distinguish Delta 8 and THC containing products from regular products,” Dr. Maneesha Agarwal, who works at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta told Channel 2′s Linda Stouffer.

“We have been seeing a definite uptick in our emergency departments of children getting into these substances.”

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Colorful gummies and edibles can look like treats.

“We’ve seen as young as two- and three-year-olds in the ICU, because of ingestion of these THC gummies,” Dr. Gaylord Lopez, executive director of the Georgia Poison Center said.

In the Journal of Pediatrics, researchers looked at the causes of fatal poisonings in young children. The top killer now is opioids.

Lopez also says the powerful opioid fentanyl is showing up in counterfeit pain pills and all kinds of drugs.

“These products are killers, and in the hands of an unsuspecting patient, you can even have instantaneous death because these products are so potent,” Lopez said.

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Agarwal said one of the most important things parents can do for safety is to keep any pills and cannabis products up and out of sight.

“We’re now seeing opioids being the leading cause of death in these unintentional poisonings and children, which is really sad. They are also becoming victims of the opioid epidemic in a different way,” Agarwal said.

Agarwal says accidental issues can happen when a child finds products, or when someone in the home unknowingly gives it to them.

If a child needs medical care, bring with you whatever they got into, whether it’s detergent or drugs.

When a doctor knows what they’re treating, it can make a huge difference.

More information on home safety for parents can be found here.

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