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drug horror Five arrests as two-year-old toddler left fighting for life in Belfast after ingesting 'high levels' of cannabis

The child was placed on a ventilator at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children

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The toddler was treated in intensive care after ingesting cannabis 
PIC PACEMAKER

The toddler was treated in intensive care after ingesting cannabis PIC PACEMAKER

The toddler was treated in intensive care after ingesting cannabis PIC PACEMAKER

A two-year-old child in Northern Ireland nearly died after ingesting cannabis last week, it has emerged.

The PSNI have confirmed five adults have been arrested since Sunday on suspicion of child cruelty.

After swallowing the drug, the child was taken to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children’s intensive care unit and placed on a ventilator after developing serious problems.

It was reported in the Irish News that upon examination large amounts of cannabis were found in the young boy’s system.

A PSNI spokesman said: "In response to a report of alleged child cruelty, police arrested a 25-year-old male and 20-year-old female on 13 June. “During a follow-up search of a residential property, a number of items were recovered for examination including a quantity of tablets, medication and drugs paraphernalia.

"During follow-up enquiries, a 51-year-old female, 28-year-old male and 27-year-old female were also arrested on suspicion of child cruelty on 14 June. Each of the people arrested have subsequently been released pending further enquiry."

It is not clear how the cannabis got into the child's system.

Earlier this month the Department of Education penned a letter to parents warning them of the dangers of cannabis edibles or ‘gummies’ which are often sold in packets designed to resemble major high street brands of sweets, after a nine-year-old was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital having ingested the cannabis sweets.

There have been several cases, both in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland of children consuming the THC-laced snacks after mistaking them for ‘normal’ sweets.

In the letter, the DE said the Public Health Agency had contacted department saying they were “aware of products that look like familiar sweet products with colourful packets, familiar cartoon images and which are appealing to children, but that in fact contain cannabis extract, or THC (the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis).”

They added: "A young child assessed in hospital had inadvertently consumed cannabis after finding what they believed to be a packet of sweets on the ground.

"While on closer inspection the sweet packet is labelled as containing THC, to all other purposes they look like a common brand of sweets which are marketed for children.

"The effects of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) involves the central nervous and cardiovascular systems.

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"In adults the effects are generally mild and short-lived but ingestion rather than inhalation is associated with longer lasting effects."

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