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Melatonin to Help Kids Sleep May Be Too Dangerous

Posted by on Jul. 4, 2013 at 8:37 AM
  • 17 Replies

'Easy' Way Some Parents Put Their Kids to Sleep May Be Too Dangerous

by Adriana Velez

melatoninGot a restless kid who has a hard time falling asleep? I swear, some nights it's enough to make me contemplate looking into witchcraft. Isn't there some spell I could cast on my kid? Or a magic potion -- oh wait, there is! Melatonin. Just a few drops in some milk and your darling insomniac will fall right asleep. It's totally worth the hormone imbalance that follows.

Wait -- hormone imbalance?!? Yikes. According to Dr. David Samadi, that's just one of a few dangerous side-effects from melatonin your child could get. He's cautioning parents against using the herbal supplement on our kids. So does that mean he'll make house-calls and help us get our kids to sleep?

Haha, of course not. But his warning sure put me on notice. Melatonin is a hormone your body produces to regulate your sleeping and waking patterns, so giving it to your kids, especially when it's not under the direction of a doctor, could mean tampering with your kids' hormones. Some children have complained of blurred vision and anxiety from taking melatonin. It can also be addictive.

But beyond even that, we just don't know enough about melatonin. Doctors don't know what its long-term effects on kids may be. It's not regulated by the FDA. You're pretty much gambling when you administer it.

So when doctors put it all that way, that bedtime quick fix sounds dangerous -- way too dangerous for my comfort. I guess it's back to practicing good bedroom hygiene. I should know better than to trust any shortcuts in life, so it doesn't surprise me. Still, parents' jobs are difficult and endless. You can't blame us for wanting a magic pill to make something a little easier, though.

Have you ever given your child melatonin to help them sleep at night?

by on Jul. 4, 2013 at 8:37 AM
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Replies (1-10):
shajdinyak
by Bronze Member on Jul. 4, 2013 at 8:39 AM
Did not work for our dd. She is five and still wakes:(
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jendawgrox2004
by on Jul. 4, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Never given it to my kids, but is it safe for adults then? Because I recently started taking it.

atlmom2
by Ruby Member on Jul. 4, 2013 at 10:27 AM
1 mom liked this
I would never give my kids stuff like that.
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Bluecalm
by Member on Jul. 4, 2013 at 1:16 PM
It doesn't help them stay asleep, just supposed to help get them to sleep.


Quoting shajdinyak:

Did not work for our dd. She is five and still wakes:(

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Bluecalm
by Member on Jul. 4, 2013 at 1:18 PM
I haven't used it for my boys though I considered it so I read up on it. The side effects concerned me.
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Mom2Just1
by Mom2boys on Jul. 4, 2013 at 2:44 PM
Good to know.
storkradio193
by on Jul. 4, 2013 at 5:02 PM

I've never given it and wouldn't without being advised by a doctor (which would be something beyond this short article).

ceciliam
by Cecilia on Jul. 4, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Never used it. I have heard in the past that it wasn't really safe to use on children but I never knew the reasons why.

SandyLaxner
by on Jul. 4, 2013 at 9:41 PM

Have given it for yrs to DS 6yo ,he is on the Autism spectrum.   It saved our family.  Reccommended by our pedi,developmental pedi,and psychiatrist.  Was not addictive at al.l DS rarely needs it now,he falls asleep and stays asleep on his own.  Thought is Autistic kiddos have a Melatonin deficiency.    Once he even drank some liquid melatonin-climbed for it-did not know how much he took-rushed him to the hospital where the Dr literally laughed at us and said"he will take a good nap".  i think it is pretty safe.  DH and I have taken it ourselves too.

MissTacoBell
by Silver Member on Jul. 4, 2013 at 9:44 PM
Where can you get liquid melatonin? Ds is also on the spectrum and it was suggested to us.


Quoting SandyLaxner:

Have given it for yrs to DS 6yo ,he is on the Autism spectrum.   It saved our family.  Reccommended by our pedi,developmental pedi,and psychiatrist.  Was not addictive at al.l DS rarely needs it now,he falls asleep and stays asleep on his own.  Thought is Autistic kiddos have a Melatonin deficiency.    Once he even drank some liquid melatonin-climbed for it-did not know how much he took-rushed him to the hospital where the Dr literally laughed at us and said"he will take a good nap".  i think it is pretty safe.  DH and I have taken it ourselves too.


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