CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Experts are concerned over a growing number of children consuming cannabis edibles.

A new report from pediatricians shows the rate of children under the age of six eating cannabis edibles has increased by 1,375% since 2017.

Christopher Pruitt, MUSC’s Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital Medical Director, said at least two young children have come to the hospital in the last few weeks after being exposed.

Since marijuana is not legal in South Carolina, Dr. Pruitt said there are procedures in place when this happens.

“In cases like this we always involve our licensed social workers with the hospital to help navigate those issues to perform more directed interviews with the parents to understand the home situation,” he said. “But personally I am unaware of any charges being brought against parents for these types of issues.”

According to the study, 90% of the exposures happened in the child’s home.

Cannabis edibles can come in gummies and chocolates and often look like regular snacks.

Dr. Pruitt said if a child eats cannabis edibles, it can lead to central nervous system depression, which can cause difficulty breathing or decreased heart rate.

“Certainly anything that can cause that can lead to death. Now thankfully, in the study that was published in pediatrics, there were no reported deaths amongst children six years of age and younger for this,” he said. “Most children end up doing well and being supported but it certainly is not outside the realm of possibility.”

Dr. Pruitt said lethargy is one of the first signs in children that have consumed edibles, and it’s important to seek medical help quickly.

“When you have concerns for children who are so minimally responsive, you want to make sure they can protect their airway and protect their breathing,” he said.

He also warns that Delta-8 THC products, which are legal in South Carolina, can have similar impacts.

Experts say it is best to store the products in a locked compartment away from the kitchen.