SAN ANTONIO – Emergency rooms in Texas are seeing a huge increase in very young children who’ve ingested marijuana. Data obtained by the News 4 I-Team shows edibles are most often to blame: candies and snacks infused with THC.

Edibles are showing up in more Texas homes now that they’ve been legalized in other states.

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Hospital data obtained by the I-Team shows the number of Texas children under five taken to emergency rooms for ingesting marijuana has increased each year since 2017 when there were 11 cases. In 2022 there were 244 Texas cases, a more than two thousand percent increase.

One little girl finally woke up in the emergency room after being unconscious for 30 hours. She ingested edibles made to look like a popular children’s cereal.

“I thought my daughter was dying she was completely out asleep,” said the girl’s mother, Amina Serir.

Serir says the edibles were in a snack basket at a swim lesson and her daughter ate them later at her home.

“It didn’t even cross my mind to check the labels, we don’t consume any edibles in our household or anything we just don’t,” Serir said.

Her daughter became sick to her stomach before going into a comatose state and even after waking up remained dazed and had frightening hallucinations for about a week.

University Hospital toxicologist and ER physician Dr. Shawn Varney says symptoms can be severe in young children.

“They can either be completely sedated, meaning like comatose, out of it, or they can be the exact opposite, they can be very activated kind of out of control,” Varney said.

A study soon to be released in the medical journal Pediatric Emergency Care shows marijuana poisoning among young children has increased dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic, even in states where it remains illegal.

Today’s cannabis is often synthetic and much more potent than it used to be.

“It is much more intensified, more concentrated, so a smaller amount will cause more drastic effects,” Varney said.

Researchers warn parents to be more aware of the threat edibles and vaping products pose to very young children if they get ahold of them.

“These products look like they’re mainly targeted for children so really be aware of the packages and what are your kids consuming,” Serir said.

The study also urges ER staff to ask parents about possible marijuana ingestion since they might be unaware or hesitant to disclose that information.

If you have a poisoning emergency you can call the South Texas Poison Center at (800) 222-1222.

 Emergency rooms in Texas are seeing a huge increase in very young children who’ve ingested marijuana. Data obtained by the News 4 I-Team shows edibles are most  Read More  

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