Cannabis is now legal in several states, and because of that, it’s more readily accessible. It is crucial to take the same proactive approach toward cannabis safety as you do other substances like alcohol and legal medicines. So how do you keep your kids safe when there is cannabis in the home? Here are six ideas.
1. Talk About ItOne of the most important things you should do is talk about cannabis with your kids and any guests in the home. Cannabis use can be a sensitive subject, so treat it delicately but honestly. Kids are naturally curious, and it’s likely they already have questions about cannabis whether or not you keep it in the home. Be honest about why people use cannabis – medicinally, recreationally, or both – but also stress that it isn’t something that developing bodies should use. With very few exceptions, cannabis use by children and teens does more harm than good. If you use cannabis products, it’s ok to tell your child about why you do and how, but let them know that there is a legal age limit for a reason. Their brains are still developing, and using cannabis before they are old enough can reduce brain function and possibly increase dependency – things that don’t necessarily occur in people above the legal age limit. Because your child might have exposure to cannabis products at someone else’s home, show them what the symbol for THC looks like, so they are informed about products that have cannabis. Keep a line of communication open so that they know they can come to you for help if their peers offer them pot. Additionally, if any guests come to your home that like to use cannabis, set firm guidelines for when and how they can partake and how you expect them to store their buds.
2. Keep It Out of SightThe next most important way to keep your kids safe around cannabis is to keep it out of sight. Keep your buds and accessories locked up and out of reach at all times – even if you plan on taking another hit in an hour. Use a locked stash box, smell proof bag, medicine cabinet, or lockable jar to keep your buds safe from your kids (and vice versa). Cannabis isn’t necessarily worse than alcohol or other legal drugs, and you need to take the same precautions that you would with other substances. Whatever method you prefer, you should repackage your flower, edibles, oils, etc. into child-resistant packaging, but keep the original packaging nearby. Having the child-resistant packaging will help keep your kids out, but the original packaging can help you if you need to call Poison Control or talk to a doctor. You should also keep your cannabis accessories locked up tight. Dab torches or even simple lighters can pose a significant risk to your home and child’s safety. Not to mention the knives for chopping up your buds or the sharp multi-tools or pokers that could be dangerous.
Be ConsistentBeing consistent is a huge way to keep your kids safe. Develop a habit right from the beginning to never leave your cannabis out, even for a little bit. Treat it like a medicine (even if it’s for recreational use), and put it away every single time. Children have a knack for getting into things they oughtn’t, so go out of your way to prevent them from cracking into your stash. You should also teach your kids to ask before eating anything that isn’t theirs. Edibles are often incredibly enticing, so you need to teach firm boundaries for what they can and cannot eat. In that same vein, you should always label your edibles and lock them up securely with the rest of your stash.
Be Conscious of OthersEven though many believe cannabis is less harmful than cigarettes, secondhand smoke is still dangerous to children and other people. Don’t smoke around your children because there are hazardous carcinogens in cannabis smoke. If you hang around other people who smoke weed, ask them to please refrain when your children are present and to put their stash away securely if your children visit their home. It’s a good idea to practice with your kids how they should handle social situations with cannabis. Emphasize never to get in a car with someone who is high, and you should never use and drive either. They should understand that they can always call you if they don’t feel safe getting into a car when the driver or passenger has been using cannabis products. Similarly, don’t allow anyone to babysit your children if they are using cannabis products.
Be DiscreetAn easy way to keep your kids safe is to be more discreet. Roll your joints when they’re in bed, and use other, less in-your-face methods than a joint if you need to use around them. One-hitters, dry herb vaporizers, and edibles are all much more discreet than a blunt or a joint and can give you as good of a high.
Be PreparedSometimes kids get into things they shouldn’t even though you are careful. You should always be prepared for the just-in-case. Have Poison Control (800-222-1222) pre-programmed into your phone in case of emergency, or call 911 if your child is exhibiting alarming symptoms. Signs of exposure include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Erratic behavior
- Balance problems