While cannabis edibles won't be legal for another year, safety advocates are sounding the alarm. Reports show cannabis exposure to kids is on the rise, putting them at high risk.

A Nanaimo child was rushed to hospital earlier this month, after she ate pot gummies.

And a study out of Colorado found the number of marijuana-related E.R. visits for kids has increased since recreational pot became legal in 2014.

Most visits involved poisonings from edibles not kept away from children.

"When a child ingests cannabis, they have a bigger reaction to the drug, they actually are poisioned by the product," explained Pamela Fuselli, with Parachute, an organization aimed at preventing injuries.

Doctors say the risk to kids include an increased heart rate, psychosis and panic attacks. And for those who have eaten large amounts of the drug, excessive drowsiness to the point of coma.

That is why parents need to lock it up.

"Cannabis is a drug and even though you may be using it recreationally or medicinally, it is still a drug and should be approached with caution," said Fuselli.

Like other medication:

  • keep cannabis products out of reach of children
  • in child-proof containers
  • clearly labelled
  • don't consume the drug in front of kids

"We would love them not to look like things that children would get into, like gummy bears and gummy worms or things like that," Fuselli said.

And in an emergency make sure you keep the BC Drug and Poison Control Centre numbers on hand, 24-hour Line: 604-682-5050 or 1-800-567-8911.