By William Crooks
Local Journalism Initiative
The CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS, the local health authority, hosted a teleconference this week to discuss the recent uptick in the area of accidental child intoxication and overdose from cannabis products. Dr. Claude Cyr, a pediatrician at the CHUS, answered questions on the issue July 25.
“We have noticed an augmentation of accidental cannabis intoxication in children since the beginning of the summer,” Cyr began, primarily in children below the age of five years old, in both quantity and severity. It is important that parents be made aware of the dangers of these products, he continued.
Since cannabis has been legalized, children are coming into contact with related products more frequently, he stated, with a higher concentration of cannabis’ psychoactive ingredient, THC. These products are accessible legally, but also illegally over the internet, and are becoming more and more popular, he added. They can look like candy to children. It is important for parents to know that no cannabis product is safe for children, he said.
“Products that adults use for recreation should be treated like medication,” he insisted. They must be kept in a secure location away from children. From 2007 to 2017, before cannabis was legalized, there were 7 total cases of accidental child intoxication, he asserted. So far, in 2023 alone, there have been 10 cases, which is why they are sounding the alarm now.