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Long Island officials ask parents to check Halloween candy for edibles

Edible marijuana samples are set aside for evaluation at a cannabis testing laboratory
Chris Carlson
Edible marijuana samples are set aside for evaluation at a cannabis testing laboratory.

Long Island hospitals have seen an uptick in cases of kids ingesting marijuana after mistaking edibles for candy. Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman asks parents to be vigilant this Halloween.

“Tell your children not to eat the candy until they bring it home, and the parents get an opportunity to inspect the treats," Blakeman said. "So that they’re not something that’s a trick rather than a treat.”

Over the last five years, 36 kids were brought to Stony Brook Children's Hospital for cannabis intoxication.

“Most of the gummy dosages are built for adults, and children are not small adults, so they’re not able to process the same," said Dr. Candice Foy, a pediatrician at the hospital. "And they also weigh much less, so there’s less distribution for the drugs to travel.”

Higher doses can result in hypothermia, increased heart rate, low blood pressure and difficulty breathing. Foy said there are lesser symptoms that parents can look out for.

“The most common symptom is being lethargic, being confused, unable to walk straight, speaking a little slurred. They do get the red eyes,” she said.

New York has passed legislation requiring childproof, opaque packaging for edibles.

Blakeman also recommends only taking kids trick-or-treating to homes where you know who lives there. He also said throwing a Halloween party at your own home is a much safer option.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.
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