Reports say marijuana gummies were handed out during lunch by other students
Emergency crews responded to an elementary school in Cleveland Monday afternoon after calls said students had possibly eaten marijuana gummies. 11 ended up being treated at a local hospital.
The Cleveland Division of Police said at least 14 kids were given the candies during lunch at Anton Grdina, a pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school on Cleveland’s east side. Teachers say the gummies were being handed out by a few students, but no one recognized the wrappers. It wasn’t until some kids started feeling sick that aides in the school took a closer look at the candies and realized they were marijuana gummies. The kids who were passing them out reportedly said they got them from home.
Paramedics were called to the school resulting in three 5 -year-old girls, three 6-year-old boys, one 9-year-old boy, one 8-year-old boy and one 5-year-old boy being transported to Rainbows and Babies Hospital. Two others were driven by their parents. Some parents declined to take their kids to the hospital. All the kids who were treated were between the ages of five and nine, and they were all listed in stable condition soon after they were treated.
One mom, who was interviewed by Fox 8 News, said her daughter was taken by ambulance with several other children to get medical attention, but described her as “OK, for the most part.”
A statement from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District cautioned parents about storing potentially harmful products, like medications and marijuana gummies, in places where kids can get to them.
“Although we have not yet received a report on the suspicious candy, the principal used the opportunity to remind parents and caregivers of the importance of keeping medicines and other items that may be harmful to children locked up to ensure the safety of all students,” the statement read.
Incidents like this one highlight a growing challenge in states where marijuana is being legalized, both medically and recreationally. Edible marijuana products, which often are nearly indistinguishable from regular candies and baked goods, pose a risk to kids who can’t read or don’t understand their labels.
The Children’s Hospital Colorado has launched an educational campaign designed to keep kids safe from accidentally ingesting marijuana products. According to its website, “The long-term effect of acute marijuana exposures on children is unknown, as it has not been systematically studied. Because we don’t yet have the research and science findings to know the full effects, doctors do not fully understand marijuana’s long-term effects on children after acute exposures.”
Should kids accidentally get into marijuana edibles, the hospital recommends monitoring them closely for overdose symptoms, such as trouble breathing or loss of consciousness. If symptoms appear minor, kids should be kept in a safe area where they’re not at risk from falling or choking on anything while parents call an urgent care or poison control center.
Parents should also talk to their kids about legal marijuana from a young age. Make sure they have opportunities to ask questions, and that they understand the potential consequences of using drugs underage or in states where they aren’t legal.