This study investigates marijuana exposures among children <6 years old in the United States using data from the National Poison Data System. From 2000 through 2013, there were 1969 marijuana exposures among children <6 years old and an exposure rate of 5.90 per million children. The mean age of an exposed child was 1.81 years (median = 1.58 years). The majority of the children were exposed through ingestion (75.0%), and 18.5% of exposures required admission to a health care facility. The rate of marijuana exposure was significantly (2.82 times) higher in states where its use was legalized prior to 2000 compared with states where its use is not legal. Because more states are likely to pass legislation legalizing medical and recreational use of marijuana, increased efforts to establish child-focused safety requirements regarding packaging of commercially sold marijuana products are needed to help prevent more children from being exposed to this schedule I substance.
Keywords: National Poison Data System (NPDS); ingestion; marijuana; poison control center; poisoning.
© The Author(s) 2015.