Eating cannabis leads to five babies being hospitalized in 15 days in Nice, France | News | DW | 29.08.2017
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Eating cannabis leads to five babies being hospitalized in 15 days in Nice, France

A French hospital has been inundated with babies suffering from ingesting too much cannabis. In almost all the cases, parents have claimed their child found and ate the cannabis in a park.

The head of the pediatric emergency department at a hospital in Nice, in the south of France, told French newspapers on Tuesday he was alarmed by a spate of cannabis poisoning cases in babies.

"It is important to warn parents, even if they are consumers, that leaving nuggets of cannabis around can have significant consequences, including hospitalization," Dr. Herve Haas, Head of Service at the Lenval Hospital, told French news agency AFP.

Local daily Nice-Matin broke the story that his department had treated five children under the age of two years old since mid-August.

Read more: Marijuana use grows among teenagers in Germany

One of the children was admitted to the emergency department in a deep coma and had to be placed in intensive care, he said. All of them recovered.

"The cases of cannabis intoxication are unfortunately fairly regular, but it is remarkable to have five in less than fifteen days," Haas was quoted as saying. In four out of the five cases, parents claimed that their baby had found and ingested cannabis in a park.

The mother of one of the affected children claimed she had discovered her son "completely motionless in his bed" shortly after returning from a trip to the park, Nice-Matin reported.

Read more: New report highlights concern over rising drug-related deaths in Europe

"When ingested, cannabinoids rise directly to the brain with major effects," Haas was quoted as saying by Nice-Matin. "And in babies, the impact is 100 times greater than in adults."

The five babies reportedly displayed symptoms of drunkenness and severe drowsiness. The presence of cannabis in their system was confirmed by blood or urine tests.

Haas told AFP that their is little that doctors can do beyond placing them on a drip and waiting for the intoxication to pass.

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