The Columbian / Associated Press

Washington officials warn about marijuana exposure to kids

SEATTLE — Public health officials in Washington say they’re increasingly concerned about children accidentally ingesting marijuana.

The Washington Poison Center says that in the first half of this year, it received 32 calls about children suffering from marijuana exposure — an increase from 24 in the first half of 2014. The center received 31 calls involving teenagers in the first half of this year, up from 24 in the same period last year.

But the center’s Dr. Alexander Garrard says that doesn’t necessarily mean more kids are actually being exposed to pot. The Washington Poison Center has been doing more to promote its hotline, and some producers of marijuana edibles have even put the number on their packaging. So the increased calls could simply reflect increased public knowledge of the poison center, or people could simply feel more comfortable calling for help now that marijuana’s been legal for a while.