Is Giving Melatonin to Children Dangerous?

Dr. Setty says before you start your child on melatonin, talk to your family physician

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — A local doctor says there’s not enough evidence to determine if Melatonin is dangerous for children.

“At this time, the long term effect of melatonin, we have no idea because we need more research to talk about it. It’s usually recommended for a shorter term,” Sanford Health Pediatric Sleep Specialist Dr. Arveity Setty said.

Dr. Setty says melatonin is a hormone produced and discharged by the pineal gland, which is a gland located in the middle of the brain that is linked to your sleeping rhythm.

“Well, we are all already consuming melatonin without our knowledge. Why? We as we all know Melatonin is a natural supplement. It’s already present in many fruits and vegetables that we consume. So we are already taking it,” Dr. Setty explained.

That’s the reason why the FDA doesn’t manage melatonin. So how do you know how much to give to your child?

“So we do not know at this time, what is the appropriate amount to take, what is a form to take and how to take, right. But the physiological dose as recommended is about 0.5 milligrams,” Dr. Setty said.

One of Dr. Setty concerns are children experiencing night terrors while taking melatonin.

“Now if that happens, I would recommend stopping it you know, you don’t want it’s not worth it having a sleepwalking episode because sleepwalking is the most dangerous episode but obviously you will have to take it for a couple of nights before you realize okay, you’re gonna have these type of you know, concern with it,” Dr. Setty explained.

Dr. Setty says before you start your child on melatonin, talk to your family physician.

“Nowadays, primary physicians are very easy to reach out just a messaging, you know, but at least check with the pediatrician before just starting on melatonin,” Dr. Setty said.

Doctors ask for you to keep your child on a regular bedtime routine and to turn off their devices, like TVs and phones one hour before going to bed to reduce the blue light exposure.

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