Sleep supplement: Is Melatonin a safe option for your children? CDC’s latest data reveal shocking details!

Is Melatonin a safe option for your children?
Is Melatonin a safe option for your children? Credit | Getty images

United States: As the clocks “spring forward,” there is growing concern among parents in the US that their kids will lose one hour of sleep and whether Melatonin is a safer option to supplement that sleep.

A study revealed that about 18.5 percent of children aged 5 to 9 and 19 Melatonin adolescents take Melatonin for sleep.

Know more about Melatonin

Visual Representation | Credit : Stocksy

Dr. Celine Gounder went on to explain that, “In the long-term, melatonin does seem to be safe to use for some time”. They, further, added that there are some points that need to be noticed.

Melatonin is a hormone. Grounder continued, “Whenever you’re talking about giving kids hormones, you want to be especially careful, especially in kids who are pre-pubescent, so not yet adolescents,” as CBS News reported.

Moreover, some indicators also reveal that Melatonin could even trigger an early puberty.

Secondly, as per the experts, if Melatonin is being taken as a supplement, it must be noted that it is not FDA-regulated, which means it hasn’t gone through thorough testing, unlike the other drugs in regular use.

Dr. Grounder said, “The rigorous clinical trials that we need for drugs that are FDA approved just haven’t been done for melatonin, so we just don’t have the same kind of data on the safety and effectiveness of melatonin,” as CBS News reported.

Lack of research on Melatonin

Regarding the research done on Melatonin and youth, greater research data is available on its use for kids with ADHD and autism. Since those conditions are generally associated with sleep disorders, there are different to weigh the risk-benefit when compared to other children.

However, some research has also shown that melatonin supplement treatment may be useful for patients within these groups. However, it is useful only after focusing on sleep hygiene and behavioral interventions.

Grounder added, “I would really be cautious about using it in somebody who has not gone through puberty yet and use it, even in teens, on a very occasional basis,” as CBS News reported.

Accidents of swallowing Melatonin on the rise

The gummy version of this pill can be colorful and tasty enough, like candy.

Combined with the fact that over the last few years, the CDC has witnessed an upsurge in kids’ accidental consumption of Melatonin, it can be said that parents and society in general need to be more watchful.

As per the CDC data, “During 2019-2022, melatonin was implicated in approximately 11,000 (7%) emergency department visits among infants and young children for unsupervised medication ingestions,” posted on Thursday.

Moreover, Grounder added, “A lot of it involves the gummies,” and, “Fortunately, most of them do not end up hospitalized, but some of the signs that this could have been dangerous ingestion include excessive drowsiness, confusion, hallucinations, seizures. So you can see some real side effects with this.”

Furthermore, the CDC highlighted the importance of “keeping all medications and supplements (including gummies) out of children’s reach and sight.”