The child was taken to Belfast’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children (file photo) (Image: Collect)
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A two-year-old boy was left fighting for his life after eating cannabis.
The toddler was rushed to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children with large amounts of the drugs in his system.
Five adults were arrested across Sunday and Monday on suspicion of child cruelty, police have said. They include three women, aged 51, 27 and 20 and two men, 28 and 25.
A PSNI spokesperson told Belfast Live: "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.
The young boy reportedly ate cannabis, which left him in critical condition (file image)
"During follow-up enquires, 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."
The little boy was admitted to ICU in a critical condition and placed on a ventilator – but it is understood he is now stable, reports the Irish News.
The Belfast Trust, which runs the hospital, has been contacted for comment.
Belfast Live reported earlier this week how the Department of Education has written to school principals across Northern Ireland after a child was assessed in hospital after eating sweets laced with THC.
A nine-year-old was found to have "detectable levels of cannabis" in their system at Belfast Royal Victoria Hospital following the incident earlier this month.
New images of what such 'sweets' might look like have now been shared with schools – who were asked to pass them on as a warning to parents.
The department's letter read: "The purpose of this letter is to inform you of a warning we have received from the Public Health Agency that they are aware of products that look like familiar sweet products with colourful packets, familiar cartoon images and which are appealing to children."
They went on to say that they do "in fact contain cannabis extract or THC" – which is the main psychoactive drug in cannabis.
"While on close inspection the sweet packet is labelled as containing THC, to all other intents an purposes they look like a common brand of sweets which are marketed for children."
They asked the schools to make staff and parents aware and included the pictures of "the seized products".
THC can have a stronger effect on children because of their low body mass with the effects including:
- Loss of coordination
- Lethargy, collapse or loss of consciousness
DAMIS says that in recent months there have been a number of seizures of cannabis sweets across Northern Ireland, labelled ‘Medicated Nerds Ropes, 400 mg THC per rope’ and ‘Medicated Nerdz Rope Bites, 600 mg THC’.
Anyone with information relating to similar incidents is asked to contact police on 101 or email [email protected]