Cannabis Safety Tips: Securing Kids with Safe Medical Marijuana Storage

Our experts share insights on the potential risks associated with children accessing cannabis medications, and offer advice on secure storage methods. Lisa Burton discusses child-resistant packaging and safety tips with a Columbus, OH pediatrician regarding medical cannabis. This interview aims to equip patients and caregivers with essential knowledge for responsible medical cannabis use in households with children.

Given the increasing legalization and use of cannabis in various forms, it becomes imperative to educate the public, especially parents and caregivers, about the potential risks associated with improper storage and the steps they can take to ensure a safe environment for children. As a cannabis professional, educating parents on the potential risks associated with children accessing cannabis medications is a critical aspect of promoting safety and responsible use. To achieve this, we have a multifaceted approach that combines clear communication, accessible resources, and practical advice for prevention.

  • Communication is Key:
    • Providing crucial information regarding the potential risks associated with children accessing medical marijuana products. By establishing a clear channel of communication, cannabis professionals can play a pivotal role in educating patients about responsible cannabis use in a household setting.
  • Risk Awareness:
    • Patients need to be well-informed about the potential risks that medical marijuana products pose to children. This includes an understanding of the psychoactive effects, potential health implications, and the importance of preventing exposure.
  • Storage Recommendations:
    • Providing guidance on how to store medical marijuana securely and emphasizing the importance of keeping cannabis medications out of reach and sight of children is imperative. Parents should be educated about utilizing child-resistant packaging, employing lockable containers, and choosing storage locations that are inaccessible to children.
  • Dosage Control:
    • Clear communication about proper dosage is essential. Patients should understand the importance of keeping track of their medication intake to minimize the risk of accidental ingestion by children.
  • Collaboration with Health and Wellness Organizations:
    • Sharing information with healthcare professionals helps create a united front in communicating the risks of children accessing cannabis medications and reinforces safety measures.
  • Prioritizing Education:
    • We can empower patients with the knowledge, resources, and tools they need to foster a safer and more responsible environment within the home.
  • Community Outreach:
    • Our goal is to continue partnering with local healthcare professionals and community organizations to help reach a broader audience in raising awareness on responsible cannabis use.

There are a wide range of symptoms depending on dose. Most symptoms are reversible once the effects of cannabis wear off but can last for up to several days and can be very traumatizing to children and families

  • Low dose:
    • stumbling/trouble walking, sleepy or “slow,” nausea/vomiting (sometimes very severe,) hallucinations
  • High dose:
    • loss of consciousness, slow or shallow breathing sometimes to the extent of “respiratory failure” or not being able to breathe effectively on their own. Children who experience respiratory failure may need to go on oxygen or in some cases even a ventilator until the effects of cannabis wear off. Problems such as fast heart rate (most common) or slow heart rate in some cases.
  • While all medical marijuana products are required by law to have child resistant packaging, there are also child resistant storage devices such as lock boxes or cabinet locks available to add extra protection in your home. A lock box is just what it sounds like: a box that you can close and lock, usually with a combination or special latch that young kids can’t open on their own. Lock boxes and cabinet locks are a great way to help keep cannabis products out of sight and out of the hands of kids. They are widely available for purchase and cost anywhere from $12-30 depending on the type (can be found on Amazon, Walmart, etc.) So these can be helpful tools to protect your kids from accidental ingestion, especially if you have products that store best in the refrigerator. Certain edible cannabis products may fall into this category. In general, edibles are the highest risk products when it comes to accidental ingestions in children because they can look and taste like everyday treats. A lock box is a great place to store cookies, gummies, brownies, etc to help protect your child against potential risk.
  • I like to use the phrase “Up, up, and away!” to summarize best practices for safe storage of any medication. The keys are to lock UP your medication in a child safe container or locked cabinet. Place your medications high UP in a storage area (cabinet or shelf) where small hands can’t reach. And keep them AWAY from curious eyes – try not to allow medications to be visible. This includes avoiding use of cannabis products in front of your children. Kids like to imitate the people they love the most, so using cannabis medication in front of them could make them more likely to get into products that aren’t for them.
  • The first thing to do for any accidental ingestion is call Central Ohio Poison Center at 1 (800) 222-1222 (put this number on your fridge!) I would advise calling this number even if you are in a situation where you think your child may have ingested something but you are not 100% sure whether an ingestion took place. They will walk you through what symptoms to look out for and explain everything you need to do including advise you whether to present to the emergency room. 
  • If you find your child down or unresponsive, first call 911. In these situations, it is important to have medical professionals on site as soon as possible to make sure that your child is stable and provide any emergency support for breathing or blood circulation issues. After you have called 911, you can then call Central Ohio Poison Center to get their expert advice. 

Discover the transformative benefits of medical cannabis in Ohio. Visit our Bloom dispensaries today to explore our extensive selection, speak with our knowledgeable staff who can guide you on your journey to wellness, and even schedule a consultation to help you better understand how medical cannabis can provide value.

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