Parachute took part in National Poison Prevention Week, from March 15 to 21 in 2020, to raise awareness about preventing unintentional cannabis poisoning in children.

This annual national poison awareness campaign draws attention to the causes of unintentional poisoning and how to prevent them from occurring: Each year, more than 1,500 Canadians lose their lives and nearly 8,000 are hospitalized due to unintentional poisoning.

Why focus on cannabis in 2020

Children are vulnerable to poisoning from the chemicals in cannabis because of their small body size and lower weight.

Edibles can have a stronger, more prolonged effect on the body than other forms of cannabis. Ingesting cannabis is the most common cause of cannabis poisoning in children.

In a recent Ipsos survey commissioned by Parachute, 94 per cent of Canadian parents who use cannabis agree it is their responsibility to safely store their edibles; however, only one in four of these parents report properly storing their edibles.

Safe storage tips for edibles and other cannabis products

  • Always keep cannabis products in their original, child-resistant packaging.
  • Ensure cannabis products are properly resealed and re-stored after each use.
  • Store cannabis products in a high-up, locked cabinet, drawer or cupboard, where children can’t see or reach them.
  • Avoid using cannabis products in front of children. Children like to copy everything their parents do.
  • Keep purses and bags belonging to you or visitors away from children. They may contain cannabis products or other harmful poisons.

Only 40 per cent of Canadian parents report knowing about local poison control resources. Remember to keep your local poison centre phone number stored in your cellphone or in a visible location, such as on your fridge. 

If unintentional poisoning occurs, contact your local poison centre. In case of loss of consciousness or difficulty breathing, call 911.

This program is made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada; the views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada.