The Des Plaines Police Department arrested three daycare workers in Kiddie Junction Educational Institute, Chicago after giving children melatonin-laced gummy bears.
Ashley Helfenbein, Jessica Heyse, and Kristen Lauletta were all charged with two counts of battery and two counts of endangering health or life of children.
According to police, there were 12 children in the classroom, each aged between two and three years old. The melatonin-laced gummy bears were provided to the children because they wanted to calm them down for nap time.
However, the use of this product had not been approved by the organization and children’s parents.
Melatonin-laced gummy bears are an over-the-counter sleep aid. It is stated in the packaging that they are not suitable for anyone under 16 years old. The arrested workers then said that they thought nothing was wrong with giving the gummy bears to children as it was sold even without prescriptions.Des Plaines Police Department
Also, parents never permitted those three daycare workers to give their children melatonin-laced gummy bears. None of the kids experienced adverse effects, but one parent reported that his two-year-old child was groggy when they picked their child up. Des Plaines Police Chief William Kushner said that this was “just a horrible case of bad judgment.”
Even though melatonin overdoses are not dangerous, it can have negative effects on children. The body normally produces this hormone. Giving melatonin to a child can delay normal hormonal development, disrupt menstrual cycles, and affect puberty.
According to Mayo Clinic, melatonin supplements should only be taken after consulting a doctor. People usually feel sleepy in the evening because the body produces this hormone around the same time daily.
The three daycare workers thought there was nothing wrong since the children didn’t show any symptoms or side effects. However, the supplements may have been negatively affecting the kids’ natural sleep cycles.Kidspot
According to police, only four pieces were left in a bottle that contained 120 melatonin-laced gummy bears!
Dr. Anna Ivanenko, a pediatric sleep specialist at AMITA Health, said that giving melatonin to children without informing their parents was “a very inappropriate and potentially dangerous act.”
What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree that these three daycare workers should be arrested for what they’ve done? Leave your thoughts on the comments below!