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Melatonin on children?

I have a friend who uses melatonin to get her small children to sleep (ages 4 and 2). Is that safe? I know the body produces melatonin naturally but to add more at a such a young age seem sort of unnecessary. Although I guess it might be in some cases.

 
Syphon

Asked by Syphon at 8:13 AM on Jun. 30, 2010 in Health

Level 27 (30,589 Credits)
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Answers (5)
  • It's OK to use occasionally. There has been plenty of research that says it's totally harmless. What gets me though, is that melatonin is a hormone. And when using any hormone replacement drugs, you take the risk of making your body not be able to produce its own hormones. Men who use steroids eventually don't produce any testosterone, women to take estrogen, eventually stop producing their own estrogen, people who take thyroid meds will stop producing their own thyroid hormones. This has been proven to happen with many hormone drugs. I would tell her to take it easy, the last thing her child needs is to stop producing melatonin on their own. Sometimes it's OK, but every night is taking a big risk.

    samurai_chica

    Answer by samurai_chica at 8:34 AM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • IMHO, no it's not a good idea. I've always heard that if you take melatonin, your body will produce less since it doesn't think it needs to anymore because of the added amount. almost like it forgets how to make it on it's own.
    a child that young's body makes the melatonin it needs.
    DarkFaery131

    Answer by DarkFaery131 at 8:22 AM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • Ages 2 and 4 - NOT A GOOD IDEA.
    smokeybear

    Answer by smokeybear at 8:27 AM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • If I didn't give my son melatonin, he wouldn't sleep more than an hour or two.
    motherofhope98

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 9:22 AM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • I used it at the advice of my pediatrician when my son was 3-4. He has autism and his sleep patterns were totally messed up - he was waking up every night from 2am-5am and was unable to go back to sleep. We would use it for 2 weeks at a time at a very small dose. His sleep patterns eventually straightened out on their own and he was able to sleep through the night again. But I wouldn't advocate using it without a pediatrician's recommendation, or for any extended period of time.
    missanc

    Answer by missanc at 9:25 AM on Jun. 30, 2010

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