Kids under 6 ingesting illicit substances rose after Covid-19 outbreak, study shows

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The Coronavirus outbreak has caused a great deal of disruption to our daily lives, and it’s no surprise that it has taken a toll on the mental health of both adults and children alike. While some people have turned to substances such as alcohol and drugs to cope with the pandemic, it appears that young children may also be ingesting illicit substances as a result of the outbreak. According to a recent study, the number of kids under the age of six ingesting illicit substances has risen significantly since the start of the pandemic.

In the study, researchers found that between January and May of 2020, there was a 32.4% increase in the number of calls made to poison control centers regarding children under the age of six ingesting illegal drugs. The majority of these incidents involved stimulants, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, as well as cannabis products.

While it is certainly concerning that young children are ingesting illicit substances, the reasons behind this trend are not yet entirely clear. Some experts believe that parents may be more distracted due to the pandemic, which could lead to more instances of children accessing substances that they shouldn’t. Additionally, with more adults at home during the day, there may be more opportunities for children to ingest illicit substances that are often hidden away.

Another possible explanation for this trend could be the psychological effects of the pandemic on young children. Children under six years old may not fully understand what is going on with the world, but they are likely aware that things are different than they were before. They may feel anxious, stressed, or confused, which could lead them to seek out new experiences, even if those experiences are dangerous.

It’s also worth noting that the increase in child ingesting illicit substances may be related to the trend of parents ingesting more substances due to the pandemic. If children are around substances more often, then they may be more likely to experiment with them.

Regardless of the reasons behind this trend, it’s clear that measures need to be taken to prevent young children from ingesting dangerous substances. This includes keeping all drugs and alcohol out of reach and properly secured. Parents may also want to consider talking to their children about the dangers of substance abuse, even if their child is very young. While it may seem like children under six years old are too young to understand these conversations, it’s important to remember that they are always listening and learning from us.

Another important step is to be vigilant and aware of any signs that a child may have ingested a substance. Symptoms of drug ingestion in young children can include lethargy, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and changes in behavior. If you suspect that a child has ingested a substance, it’s important to contact poison control or seek medical attention immediately.

Overall, the increase in child ingesting illicit substances is deeply concerning and serves as a reminder of the importance of properly securing potentially dangerous substances in the home. Parents, caregivers, and medical professionals must work together to ensure that young children are protected from harm during this challenging time. By educating ourselves and staying vigilant, we can help keep our children safe and healthy.