Monday, 25 March 2024 17:06

Dangerous Snacks Within Children's Reach

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In one of the schools in Halifax, a concerning incident occurred, serving as a warning for parents to keep products containing cannabis away from children. Police are investigating after five elementary school students were taken to a nearby hospital for consuming cannabis products brought into the school.


Alarming Case

Katrina MacDonald, a healthcare worker and mother of a nine-year-old boy, reported that her son vomited repeatedly and had to be urgently transported to the emergency room. Another mother, who spoke anonymously, said her child was admitted to the intensive care unit before stabilizing.

Risk Hidden in Appealing Packaging

The school sent MacDonald a photo of the "strawberry-grape" gummies packaging from "Nerd Bites" found in the school after children fell ill. The packaging with bright candies against a green, grassy background had small letters with a warning to "keep out of children's reach."

MacDonald argues that the packaging is dangerous for children like her son, who are unaware of the potential threat posed by cannabis. She admitted that upon arriving at school, her child was disoriented, restless, and crying. A typically healthy child vomited seven times, had a lowered heart rate, and low blood pressure as emergency personnel administered intravenous fluids.

Call for Change and Caution

Dr. Bruce Crooks, a pediatric oncologist/hematologist at the IWK Children's Hospital in Halifax, stated that the amount of cannabis consumed by the children - about 200 milligrams each - is a "huge dose," approximately 20 times larger than recreational doses taken by adults. He added that the drug can cause such a decrease in brain activity in children that they may require admission to the intensive care unit and be connected to life-support equipment.

A spokesperson for the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp., the province's only licensed distributor of cannabis products, stated that the company only purchases from licensed producers regulated by Health Canada and the federal Cannabis Act. This law generally prohibits the promotion of cannabis, and packaging must meet strict requirements, including labeling, child-resistant containers, and plain packaging that cannot appeal to youth.

MacDonald believes that what happened to her child "could happen to any family." She emphasized that schools need to establish protocols for handling such products brought into the school. "Schools may need to start educating children about risks at a younger age," she added.

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