SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Cases of child drug poisonings are skyrocketing across the country, according to a recent study.

The study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics found drug poisoning deaths increased by 133% in the last decade.

Here at home, the Upstate New York Poison Center has been tracking its own troubling trends.

The latest concern is kids accidentally getting into cannabis.

Since January 2022, the Upstate New York Poison Center has seen:

  • 614 cases of edible cannabis products in children 0-5 years of age
  • 635 cases of edible cannabis products in children 6-19 years of age

It’s a drastic spike compared to 2019 when the poison center handled only seven cases involving children five and younger.

Now that cannabis is more available, Clinical Director Jeanna Marraffa said it’s becoming more dangerous when it’s not out of reach.

“It could be very dangerous, especially to small children because of the milligram quantity of THC in these products.”

Jeanna Marraffa

The key point she’s pushing is safe storage.

“Treat it as if you would treat any medication and storing it up and away and keeping it in a locked box,” she said. “When you go to visit people’s homes or if people are coming in, have those conversations of do you have any medications that are in your purse that potentially you know, my child might get into.”

The growing problem isn’t just cannabis, it’s opioids.

“We’re seeing trends of increasing intentional overdoses in children as young as six years in age, up until their teenage years.”

Jeanna Marraffa

It’s heartbreaking. The national numbers over a ten-year time frame are even worse.

“Nearly 9,000 children and adolescents died from opioid poisonings, which was a threefold increase in mortality,” Marraffa said.

Marraffa said the Upstate New York Poison Center has not seen a significant number of deaths, but cautions that those numbers are historically underreported.

“We always have to think about just safe storage,” she said.

If there’s ever a question of whether someone ingested a drug or was exposed, she encourages you to call the Upstate New York Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.

If someone is unresponsive or having a hard time breathing, Marraffa said don’t wait, call 9-1-1.