An emergency physician in Charlottetown is raising concerns over cannabis edibles after two young children were taken to hospital in Charlottetown over the weekend. – Reuters

An emergency physician is raising concerns over cannabis edibles after two young children were taken to hospital in Charlottetown over the weekend.

Dr. Aaron Sibley, a staff emergency doctor at the QEH, says one child under the age of 10 was brought to the emergency department after ingesting CBD (cannabidiol) Gummies. The child exhibited paranoia, agitation, drowsiness and nausea. 

The child was kept in the hospital for 36 hours to be monitored until the effects of the cannabis wore off.

“It is disturbing to see a child acting this way,” says Sibley.

Dr. Aaron Sibley, a staff emergency physician at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown says it was

He says the Gummies were meant for adults, but the supply was not properly secured, and the child ate some. He adds it is difficult to know how much the child ate.

A second child, also under the age of 10, was brought into the emergency department at the QEH over the weekend after ingesting cannabis-induced Gummies intended for adults.

“That child was well” and did not need to remain in the hospital, says Sibley.

“My goal would be to increase public awareness that children are not able to tell the difference between this drug and candy,” he adds. “It’s a drug. It’s definitely a drug. It has clinical effect on the body.”

Laurie Mosher, clinical leader with the IWK Regional Poison Centre in Halifax, says cannabis edibles should be kept out of the sight and reach of children.

“It looks like a treat: chocolate bars, Gummy bears, chocolate cookies … so lock it up, keep it out of reach,” she says. She also advises adults not to eat the cannabis edibles in front of children.

Mosher says the IWK Regional Poison Centre received eight calls in 2019 from Nova Scotia and P.E.I. concerning incidents of cannabis edibles being consumed by children. Most involved Gummies. Reported symptoms ranged from minor to quite significant, including vomiting, nausea and extreme drowsiness.

So far this year, the centre has received 18 calls reporting cannabis edibles being consumed by children, with at least six being Gummies. Mosher expects the number of calls to reach about 24 by the end of the year.

She would not give the number of calls from P.E.I. to the poison centre the past two years, noting only they are low. However, she adds the calls to the centre likely are “just the tip of the iceberg.’’

Mosher urges people to call the poison centre at 1-800-565-8161 if a child ingests cannabis edibles.

Edible cannabis products, including Gummies, are sold at provincial cannabis stores in P.E.I. Customers must be 19 or older. 

A spokesman with the Finance Department notes there is a provincial information and awareness campaign on cannabis called “Just the Facts” which includes a video that urges consumers to “stash their stash’’ and keep their cannabis products out of the reach of children and pets.

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