Family Healthcast: Should parents give their children melatonin?

Family Healthcast

(WSYR-TV) — Of all the ways in which coronavirus has upended our lives, sleep issues might be the most universal. And it’s not just adults.

Local pediatricians have been getting a lot of calls about kids having trouble sleeping.

Is it a good idea to try melatonin for children who have trouble sleeping?

Doctors at Pediatric Associates in Camillus and they said several patients are taking melatonin and even though you don’t need a prescription, it is good to talk to your doctor first.

Melatonin is a chemical our brains produce. For children, our doctors usually start with supplements of one half to one milligram of melatonin.

The maximum dosage for children who weigh less than 88 pounds is three milligrams.

Since melatonin is a supplement, it is not regulated, so to be sure you’re getting what the label says look for the UL, USP or consumerlab.com. These companies test dietary supplements to meet their standards for purity.

Local doctors said melatonin can help some children fall asleep, but it doesn’t typically help a child who wakes up frequently in the middle of the night.

And it should be used along with good sleep hygiene, a nighttime routine that signals the brain that it is time to sleep and consistent bedtime times.


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