(WTVO) — The number of young children who accidentally eat marijuana-laced products is on the rise in Illinois.

According to the Southern Illinois School of Medicine, more than 7,000 cases of children younger than 6 eating marijuana edibles were reported to the nation’s poison control centers between 2017 and 2021. Nearly a quarter of those children were hospitalized.

The increase, according to the study, is being seen largely in states that have legalized cannabis over the last five years. Illinois legalized cannabis for adults 21 and older on Jan. 1, 2020.

Under Illinois law, adults can legally purchase cannabis and cannabis edibles for recreational use from licensed dispensaries across the state.

Residents may posses 30 grams of cannabis flower; 5 grams of cannabis concentrate; and
no more than 500 milligrams of THC contained in a cannabis-infused product.

Registered patients in the medical cannabis pilot program may possess more than 30 grams of cannabis if it is grown and secured in their residence under certain conditions.

Non-Illinois residents are permitted to possess 15 grams of cannabis flower; 2.5 grams of cannabis; and no more than 250 milligrams of THC contained in a cannabis-infused product.

A parent whose child accidentally ingests cannabis could be charged with a crime in Illinois. Such incidents could also negatively affect decisions about child visitation or custody.