The Importance of Keeping Cannabis Away From Kids

The legality of recreational cannabis use means that it’s slowly but surely becoming a big part of Canadian culture. It’s no wonder that new cannabis products such as beverages, edibles, topicals and even concentrates could make their way into the wrong hands. 

The legal age to purchase and consume cannabis is 19 in the majority of Canadian territories. Children are strictly prohibited from purchasing and consuming cannabis flowers and other products and should be discouraged to do so. 

These tips will help you to store your cannabis products out of reach from children to keep them safe.  

Important Highlights

  • Keep all cannabis products stored away in child-resistant packaging and in a container that can be locked. 
  • Store your cannabis products out of sight and out of the reach of children. 
  • Seek medical help immediately if you suspect that a child has consumed cannabis. 
  • Try to educate older children on the dangers of cannabis use and why they should avoid it. 

The Appeal of Cannabis Products to Kids 

The government imposes very strict packaging restrictions on cannabis companies, making it illegal to market and advertise cannabis products to children. But, the rising popularity of cannabis products such as edibles, cannabis beverages and even creams makes it much more appealing for a child to try while their parents or caregiver isn’t present. 

Cannabis can also come in many edible forms that may look incredibly appealing to a child. Gummies, brownies, cookies and even cannabis-infused jams are readily available and could be mistaken by kids as a regular product. One package of edible cannabis products can legally contain up to 10 mg of THC and for parents, this could pose a myriad of health and safety concerns for their child from accidental overconsumption.

Important note: Health Canada suggests that parents or caregivers should completely avoid consuming cannabis edibles in front of children. This is because it can confuse them as to which is a regular product and which is a cannabis product. Furthermore, your ability to correctly store cannabis in a childproof place may be impaired after the consumption of any cannabis products. 

Keeping Cannabis Locked Up

Storing cannabis in a safe place that’s away from children is essential. Treat cannabis products like you would medicine or toxic chemicals by tucking it in a place that’s out of reach from children and in its original tamper-proof packaging. 

The safest method of storing your cannabis products is to ensure that they’re all clearly labelled, even if they’re edible items that you have made at home. Topical cannabis products like creams, balms and salves should also be stored away from children and not in cupboards with toiletries and beauty products. For additional security, purchase a lockable container to place all of your cannabis products inside and then store it away on a high shelf away from children.

What to Do If Your Child Consumes Cannabis

If a child accidentally or purposely consumes a cannabis product, it’s important that you act fast to get medical attention right away. There may be a small latency period when consuming certain forms of cannabis because of the way the human body processes them. For example, edibles can take longer to show signs because the active ingredient THC must be absorbed through the digestive tract. 

If you suspect your child has consumed cannabis, Health Canada states the symptoms to watch out for are: 

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Sleepiness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Slurring of speech

Important note: If your child or the child that you’re caring for shows symptoms of breathing difficulties or appears to be incredibly sick then it’s important to call 911 immediately. 

Communicating With Your Children

It can be difficult to talk about certain topics with your children, however, it’s essential to educate your children on the dangers of cannabis consumption for minors. For children, the effects of cannabis consumption can have severe consequences on their brain development and can also put them at risk of developing mental health problems. 

There’s no easy way or correct age that you should speak to your children about cannabis consumption. But, it’s important to talk to them to deter them from cannabis use at such a young age. You can find more information on discussing cannabis consumption with your children here.