Warnings About Melatonin Use in Children
Doctors are warning parents to stop using over-the-counter melatonin on children to get them to sleep. The pills interrupt children’s natural sleep cycle and melatonin production, news outlets reported.
What is Melatonin?
- Melatonin is a naturally produced hormone that tells the body it’s time to sleep.
- Children actually produce more melatonin than adults.
- Melatonin is produced more in darkness (nighttime) and less when there’s light or stimulation (computers, TV, etc.)
- Melatonin can be prescribed by doctors, but there are also over-the-counter versions.
Melatonin May Interrupt Sleep Patterns
- Dr. Keith Ablow, from Fox News, warned that there haven’t been any studies on long-term and short-term effects. He recommends letting children develop their own sleep patterns without causing reliance on drugs.
- NBC Connecticut reported that studies have found melatonin helps children with conditions like autism, but studies haven't found any benefits for children without those problems.
- Dr. Johnson-Arbor told NBC Connecticut that melatonin might affect sexual development and puberty since it is a hormone.
How to Improve the Sleep Cycle
- Children have trouble sleeping because of bad diets, overstimulation by computers, light and stress.
- You can help your child naturally by making their diets healthier, stopping late night snacking, increasing family time and decreasing TV time, and getting the kids to “de-stress” after their day by journaling, one news outlet suggested.
Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney
At Thomas J. Henry, we have the experience and resources to handle your child’s case. If your child has been the victim of a serious injury, contact our offices. We represent clients/victims all over the country. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends.
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