Doctors recommend child-sleep solutions without melatonin

Despite an advisory, 46% of parents in a survey said they gave melatonin to help their child sleep
Despite an advisory, parents are still giving melatonin sleep aids to their children
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 6:38 AM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Despite an advisory, parents are still giving melatonin to their children as a sleep aid.

A survey by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine says nearly half of Americans are giving their kids melatonin to help them sleep. That’s despite expert advice and growing reports of melatonin overdoses, calls to poison control centers, and emergency room visits.

Specifically, 46% of parents said they gave melatonin to a child under the age of 13 to help them sleep. 30% of parents said they have given it to their child over the age of 13.

Melatonin is a natural hormone that helps you regular your body’s internal clock, but health officials say even though it might seem like a simple, natural solution to help your child sleep there are important safety concerns to keep in mind.

The main concern is the chewable melatonin tablets. Officials found they might have an unhealthy amount of melatonin for a child. Some products also have other chemicals that need medical prescriptions.

Since it’s considered a supplement, it’s not something the FDA has much oversight on.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends healthy habits to help your child sleep:

  • Help your child go to bed and wake up at the same times
  • Limit screen time before bed
  • Consider a relaxing nighttime routine, such as a warm bath, reading or journaling.

Experts say melatonin should be kept out of your child’s reach.

After this survey, they are reiterating you should talk to your child’s pediatrician before giving them melatonin.