Shortly after midnight yesterday (September 4) West Yorkshire Police were contacted by ambulance staff who had been called to an address in the Great Horton area where an eight-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl were found seriously ill with poisoning type symptoms.
Both were taken to hospital for treatment, with serious concerns for the condition of the younger child.
Further information established that the children had consumed cannabis ‘edibles’, which are sweets laced with THC - the psychoactive chemical in cannabis that causes intoxication.
Both children have since recovered and been released from hospital. Enquiries are ongoing to establish how they came into possession of the drugs.
On Saturday afternoon, police were contacted by staff at Bradford Royal Infirmary reporting a 15-year-old boy from the Great Horton area who had been taken ill after consuming cannabis ‘edibles’ in a separate incident.
He also recovered from the symptoms, and enquiries are ongoing into how he came into possession of the drugs.
Superintendent Richard Padwell, of Bradford District, said: “These incidents are obviously a real cause for concern. Although the children involved have recovered after hospital treatment, there were initially genuine concerns for the youngest child that we could have been looking at a tragic outcome.
“We have been aware of cannabis ‘edibles’ being in circulation for some time, and our neighbourhood policing teams and other specialist officers have been actively targeting those involved in their supply, with arrest and seizures and investigations ongoing.
“These recent incidents where the health of children has been put at risk very starkly illustrate the dangers of this particular form of cannabis.
“These ‘edibles’ are professionally packaged like popular brands of sweets which can make them appear attractive to children, yet they often contain a very high dose of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, which means that people can feel very unwell very quickly.
“We would urge parents and carers to be vigilant that these items are in circulation in our communities and to recognise the risks and report any concerns or information to us.
“We are working with our partner agencies, including local schools, to raise awareness of the issue as part of our ongoing efforts to safeguard young people from the use of these and other drugs.
“At the same time, we will continue to proactively target those who are involved in the supply of these items and ensure they face the appropriate criminal penalties.”
Anyone who has any information in relation to these or similar items in circulation in Bradford is asked to contact officers via 101 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.