A TODDLER was left fighting for life after allegedly eating cannabis.
The two-year-old boy was rushed to hospital in a critical condition with large amounts of the drug in his system.
He was admitted to ICU at Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and placed on a ventilator.
But it is understood he is now stable, The Irish News reports.
Police said five people have been arrested on suspicion of child cruelty since Sunday.
This includes three women, aged 51, 27 and 20, and two men, 28 and 25.
Officers also searched the child's home following an alert by health authorities.
A PSNI spokesperson told BelfastLive: "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.
"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 Belfast Trust, which runs the hospital, told The Sun Online it could not comment on the case for confidentiality reasons.
The incident follows a warning to schools in Northern Ireland earlier this month about sweets containing dangerous amounts of cannabis oil.
A nine-year-old girl was rushed to A&E for treatment with "detectable levels of cannabis" after mistakenly eating one.
She is said to have picked up the 'Nerds Rope' containing the substance from the ground.
Officials warn THC can have a stronger effect on children due to their low body mass and can cause hallucinations, nausea and loss of consciousness.
The Department of Education (DE) said it was writing to schools after receiving a warning from the Public Health Agency (PHA).
The letter read: "They are aware of products that look like familiar sweet products with colourful packets, familiar cartoon images and which are appealing to children, but that in fact contain cannabis extract, or THC (the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis).
"A young child assessed in hospital had inadvertently consumed cannabis after finding what they believed to be a packet of sweets on the ground.
"While on closer inspection the sweet packet is labelled as containing THC, to all other purposes they look like a common brand of sweets which are marketed for children.
"The effects of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) involves the central nervous and cardiovascular systems.
"In adults the effects are generally mild and short-lived but ingestion rather than inhalation is associated with longer lasting effects."
Pictures of seized products – made to look like sweets but actually contained THC – were released alongside the letter.
It follows several similar incidents in London and Surrey which saw kids rushed to hospital after ingesting laced sweets.
Several schoolchildren were hospitalised after eating gummy bear sweets laced with drugs at a secondary school in Sutton, while a 15-year-old received treatment after eating jelly edibles in Guildford.
A Sun Online probe revealed drug dealers are flooding the country with cannabis-laced sweets disguised at Kinder Eggs, Mars Bars and Haribo jellies.
Sales are soaring – with exchanges even freely taking place on Instagram and Snapchat.
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