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Sunday, February 25, 2024

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HomeHealth & Wellbeing'Terrifying' Number of Kids Getting Regular Doses of Melatonin

'Terrifying' Number of Kids Getting Regular Doses of Melatonin

Nearly 20% of kids are now being dosed with melatonin on a regular basis, a “terrifying” development in the eyes of experts who warn the long-term effects of the supplement remain unknown but could pose long-term problems.

“It is terrifying to me that this amount of an unregulated product is being utilized,” says Cora Breuner, professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington.

As with other pediatric experts, Breuner is deeply concerned that kids may be developing unhealthy dependencies on an unregulated replacement for a naturally occurring sleep hormone.

In a survey of more than 1,000 children, researchers discovered that nearly 20% of kids, ages 1 to 14, were taking melatonin as a sleep aid. Many of these kids had been taking it daily for a year or longer.

Researchers argue that because melatonin is commonplace on store shelves, including in flavored chewable forms, parents mistakenly believe it is safe to give their children. Worse, many of those gummies may also include CBD.

Between 2012 and 2021, the rate of melatonin overdoses in children increased by an astounding 500%, according to the Centers for Disease Control, including two deaths.

Although there has been little long-term research into the the risks of melatonin supplements, there is some evidence it may impact the onset of puberty and impact a child’s ability to metabolize glucose.

So what should parents do to help their kids sleep? For starters, take away digital devices at least an hour before bed, ensure bedrooms are dark and quiet, and keep your kids active as much as possible.

Melatonin supplements? Don’t do it. Just don’t.

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