Created by Parachute
While almost all Canadian parents who use cannabis agree it’s their responsibility to safely store their cannabis products, only one in four do so properly.
That’s among many findings of a recent national Ipsos survey commissioned by Parachute, Canada’s national charity dedicated to injury prevention.
“Cannabis products should be in a child-resistant container or package, stored in a locked compartment, drawer, or cupboard,” says Pamela Fuselli, CEO and President, Parachute. “They should be out of sight and out of reach.”
The use of cannabis products in Canada has increased following cannabis legalization in 2018, and the country’s poison centres have been fielding increased calls related to potential cannabis-related poisonings.
Children are more vulnerable to cannabis poisoning due to their small body size and weight, making them more sensitive to chemicals in cannabis. In particular, edible cannabis can have a stronger, more prolonged effect on the body than other forms. Ingestion of cannabis is the most common cause of cannabis poisoning in children. Edible cannabis can often resemble the appearance of common snacks, like cookies, brownies or gummy candies, and a young child may be unable to tell the difference and unknowingly consume a large amount.
Poison Prevention Week, from March 15 to 21, is an annual awareness campaign drawing attention to the causes of unintentional poisoning and how to prevent them from occurring. Each year, more than 1,500 Canadians lose their lives and nearly 8,000 are hospitalized due to unintentional poisoning.
The Poison Prevention week also kicks off a national public awareness campaign run by Parachute on safe storage of cannabis products, supported by Health Canada. Using the theme #HighAndLocked, the campaign will use memorable imagery of a cannabis edible locked to “high places” to drive home the safety messaging.
And what happens if, despite all your best efforts, your child does eat some cannabis product? Your first call should be to your local poison centre, but the Ipsos research also found that only 40 per cent of all parents surveyed knew about the poison control resources in their area. “Remember to keep your local poison centre phone number stored in your cellphone or in a visible location, such as on your fridge,” Fuselli recommends. This webpage provides all of Canada’s poison centre phone numbers.
Safe storage tips for edibles and other cannabis products
- Always keep cannabis products in their original, child-resistant packaging.
- Ensure cannabis products are properly resealed and re-stored after each use.
- Store cannabis products in a high-up, locked cabinet, drawer or cupboard, where children can’t see or reach them.
- Avoid using cannabis products in front of children. Children like to copy everything their parents do.
- Keep purses and bags belonging to you or visitors away from children. They may contain cannabis products or other harmful poisons, such as medication or cosmetics.
This program is made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada; the views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada.
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