Parents Turn To ‘Sleeping Pills’ For Kids

CBS
August 14, 2013

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A good night’s sleep is crucial for a young child’s development, but in many households it is easier said than done.

As CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported Tuesday night, a growing number of frustrated parents have been turning to the equivalent of sleeping pills to help their kids fall asleep faster. But the question is, just how safe are the substances?

Mindie Barnett said she went through a nightly challenge putting her toddler to bed.

“It would take him, sometimes, two hours to fall asleep,” she said. “It essentially required me to rock him in a chair.”

But all that changed when she started giving her son some little drops.

“He falls asleep within 10 minutes of taking it,” she said.

The substance is an all-natural sleep aid for children that was suggested by Barnett’s doctor, containing a melatonin supplement. Melatonin is the hormone that the human body naturally produces to help regulate sleep.

And Barnett is not the only parent tucking her tot to bed with the drops.

“Families have heard from others, they’ve seen on the Internet, they’ve seen it on TV, that melatonin may be a useful product and an easy fix,” said Dr. Sanjeev Kothare of NYU Langone Medical Center.

Melatonin supplements – in drops or pill form – have traditionally been recommended for adults and for children with certain developmental issues. But now, a growing number of parents have been giving it to kids who simply have trouble falling asleep.

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