A 10-year review of cannabis exposure in children under 3-years of age: do we need a more global approach?
- 745 Downloads
Pediatricians working in an emergency environment are confronted with children admitted to emergency departments for intoxication on a daily basis. We carried out a retrospective cohort study of children admitted to a pediatric emergency department due to unintentional cannabis exposure over a 10-year period from 2004 to 2014. Twenty-nine children under the age of 3 were admitted with a positive cannabis urine test. Eighty-seven percent of intoxications occurred at the family home. Resin was the main form of ingested cannabis (69%). The mean age was 16.5 ± 5.2 months, and mean weight was 11.1 ± 2.1 Kg. Sixty percent of admissions occurred between 2012 and 2014. More severe presentations, based on Poisoning Severity Score, occurred over the past 2 years. Four children experienced seizures before admission. Ten children (34%) had a decreased level of consciousness (GCS <12) and were admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit for 12–24 h. All of them had ingested hashish (resin). The majority (70%) of children suffering from neurological impairment were admitted in the last year, of whom three required assisted ventilation. There were no cases with major outcomes and no deaths. Parents were not assessed regarding their cannabis consumption.
What is Known:
• Cases of unintentional cannabis intoxication in children have been increasing for many years due to an increase of potency.
What is New:
• We highlight an increase in more severe presentations in children under the age of 3 occurring over the past 2 years, which will indicate the importance of assessing cannabis abuse in parents by a specialized addiction team.
KeywordsCannabis Children Emergency department Parental addiction
French National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety
Child Protective Services
Glasgow Coma Scale
Pediatric emergency department
Poisoning Severity Score
Specialized addiction team
Dr. Isabelle Claudet, Dr. Mathilde Le Breton, and Dr. Camille Bréhin drafted the initial manuscript, reviewed and revised the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript as submitted. Pr Nicolas Franchitto was involved in the conceptual development and preparation of the manuscript. All authors revised and approved the final manuscript as submitted.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Under French law, no approval is necessary for descriptive case series of poison control centers (public hospital structures), which are not included in a clinical trial.