Parachute launches national campaign to raise awareness about how to properly store cannabis edibles so children don’t inadvertently eat them.

The first phase of this campaign launched across Canada on March 15, 2020 – the beginning of Poison Prevention Week – and ran through the spring, complementary to another campaign on how to #CheckForPoisons in your home and store all of them securely to keep your children safe. The campaign ran again in March 2021.

This “HighAndLocked” campaign is aimed at the “chief safety officer” of a family household: the parent or caregiver who takes on the job of removing hazards that can harm a child.

The most secure way to store a hazardous substance away from curious little children is to provide two barriers to accessing it: keep the substance out of reach and secure, in a locked container.

To drive home that message, and call to action, Parachute worked with its agency partner Mass Minority to visualize a “gummy bear” – the iconic representation of a cannabis edible – locked “up high” on tall Canadian landmarks, buildings and places. The message: Keep your cannabis high and locked.

The campaign launched with an image and short video featuring the Peace Tower in Ottawa. Additional scenarios were released throughout the campaign, which were shared on social media, in Today’s Parent (Canada’s leading parenting magazine and website), and appeared on shopping mall digital displays throughout Canada, thanks to generous donations from our media sponsor Branded Cities.

Why edible cannabis poses a greater risk for children

With the legalization of cannabis in Canada in 2018, and the extension of that legalization to edibles in 2019, Canada’s poison centres and federal health officials want to ensure that adults understand the additional risks to children of inadvertent cannabis consumption.

Edible cannabis is a particular concern because it’s manufactured to taste good and can look like treats. A child might consume them in great quantities. Even adults, without labelling, may not be able to spot the difference between a candy and an edible, or a brownie with or without cannabis added.

Children are vulnerable to poisoning from the chemicals in cannabis because of their small body size and lower weight. As well, edibles can have a stronger, more prolonged effect on the body than other forms of cannabis.

What to do if your child consumes a cannabis edible

If unintentional poisoning occurs, contact your local poison centre. In case of loss of consciousness or difficulty breathing, call 911.

This program is made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada; the views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada.