You can't blame the kids.

Experts who've seen the danger firsthand are advising parents to lock up, or keep out of sight, their edible cannabis products.

On a yearly basis, the New Jersey Poison Control Center at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School is seeing more and more calls related to children who've accidentally consumed cannabis edibles. In 2021 alone, the center assisted in the medical treatment of more than 150 children who were exposed to cannabis edibles like gummies or cookies.

"We're on track to do the same and more for 2022," said Diane Calello, executive and medical director of the center.

In most of these cases they've seen, according to Calello, the child is sleepy or acting strangely for a day or so, and may end up visiting a hospital emergency room.

But in rarer cases, a child's breathing may be affected due to the amount of THC they've consumed, or ingestion could result in a seizure.

"And those kids end up in the ICU. We've had a handful of those as well," Calello said.

New Jersey's law on recreational marijuana does not permit cannabis products that look like food. But caregivers are still getting their hands on these products.

"It is difficult for anyone, especially children, to distinguish an edible marijuana product from food when the product is almost identical to common everyday foods and drinks," Calello said. "For this reason, it's important to store cannabis products, especially edibles, the same way you would store medicines in your home. Don't take the risk. Lock up your edibles."

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com

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