BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — School leaders across Western New York are on high alert after several Buffalo students got sick after taking edible gummies.

“Protecting the health and well-being of our students is of the utmost importance of the Buffalo Public School District. It’s important to remind families to talk to their children about never ingesting unknown foods or substances, even if a classmate or friend offers it. Multiple students had an adverse reaction to some gummy edibles on Friday. Confidentiality prohibits the District from sharing additional information, but please be assured that the incident was taken extremely seriously and was responded to swiftly to ensure the well-being of all affected students.”

BPS Spokesperson Jeffery Hammond

“Gummies and edibles are not intended for children and if they look like candy, they’re going to be ingested and they’re going to cause problems,” said pediatrician Dr. Steven Lana.

Dr. Lana says his office has helped a few parents whose children ingested edible gummies. He believes this could become more common.

“Citywide it might be becoming an issue, countrywide it’s becoming an issue, in our practice we’re probably just starting to see the tip of the iceberg,” he told News 4.

Dr. Lana says the side effects children face after ingesting edibles could include respiratory problems, seizures and anxiety.

“The edible will have a delayed effect, maybe 30, 45 minutes after you ingest it. So if an adolescent ingests an edible and they don’t feel anything, they might take another and another,” Dr. Lana said.

“They do look like candy, they probably taste like candy and to a child, they wouldn’t know the difference,” said Michael Cornell, who’s the president of the Erie-Niagara school superintendents association and superintendent of the Hamburg Central School District.

Cornell says educators try to make learning environments a safe place for students.

“Right now we know that CBD gummies are more prevalent in homes than they’ve ever been. They’re obviously legal now and in homes. And when they’re in homes sometimes they’re left in the reach of children, and sometimes children will reach for them and sometimes bring them to school,” Cornell said.

He says they haven’t noticed an issue of students bringing gummies to school in the Hamburg School District, but that it is something teachers and staff are being mindful of.

Schools are also encouraging parents to have talks with their children on the dangers of eating edibles underage.

“It really is a partnership between families at home and staff in school to make sure that those things, whether it’s CBD or anything else that shouldn’t be in school, don’t come to school,” he said.

Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.