Four childcare workers in the United States have been charged with adding melatonin to children’s meals

Four daycare employees from New Hampshire were arrested on Thursday after allegedly spiking children’s food with the sleep supplement melatonin.

In November 2023, authorities conducted an investigation at a daycare center located in Manchester, New Hampshire, which is approximately 30 minutes away from the state capital of Concord. As a result of this investigation, several arrests were made.

According to a press release from the Manchester police department, authorities were alerted to a report of “unsafe practices” at the day care center in question (ABC News).

Dreckmann and her three colleagues are facing a total of 10 charges for endangering children, as reported by the New York Daily News.

The exact number of children at the daycare who have been given melatonin and the duration of its administration remains unclear as of Friday.

Melatonin, an over-the-counter sleep aid supplement, is commonly used. However, its long-term effects on children are not well understood.

In recent years, there have been numerous reports of children accidentally overdosing on melatonin. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that approximately 7% of emergency department visits between 2012 and 2021 were due to children ingesting melatonin.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has issued a health warning regarding the use of melatonin among children and adolescents. They have expressed concern over the absence of oversight from the US Food and Drug Administration for this sleep aid.

According to WBZ News, the police investigation revealed that Dreckmann’s daycare was not licensed. In New Hampshire, it is permissible to run an unlicensed daycare as long as the number of children being cared for does not exceed three at any given time.

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Local residents were completely unaware that a daycare had been operating in their neighborhood, according to reports from WBZ.

Gary Boucher, a grandparent himself, expressed his disbelief and outrage, stating, “That’s outrageous – it really is.”

“If it were my child, I would be extremely upset.”

Boucher expressed his hopes that the authorities would take further action beyond the arrests made at the daycare, and completely shut down the facility.

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