New report finds increase in melatonin overdoses in children Last year, U.S. poison control centers

CDC New report finds increase in melatonin overdoses in children Last year, U.S. poison control centers received more than 52,000 calls of children consuming worrisome amounts of melatonin. By Mike Stobbe, AP Medical Writer Monday, June 6, 2022 5:48AM Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News' chief medical correspondent, broke down the new study about kids and melatonin from the CDC. NEW YORK -- Researchers are drawing attention to a rise in poisonings in children involving the sleep aid melatonin - including a big jump during the pandemic. Last year, U.S. poison control centers received more than 52,000 calls about children consuming worrisome amounts of the dietary supplement - a six-fold increase from about a decade earlier. Most such calls are about young children who accidentally got into bottles of melatonin, some of which come in the form of gummies for kids. Recent Stories from ABC 7 News D-Day anniversary: Journalist's report recounts moments before Normandy invasion Parents may think of melatonin as the equivalent of a vitamin and leave it on a nightstand, said Dr. Karima Lelak, an emergency physician at Children's Hospital of Michigan and the lead author of the study published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "But really it's a medication that has the potential to cause harm, and should be put way in the medicine cabinet," Lelak said. What is melatonin? Melatonin is a hormone that helps control the body's sleep cycle. It has become a popular over-the-counter sleeping aid, with sales increasing 150% between 2016 and 2020, the authors said. In the U.S., melatonin is sold as a supplement, not regulated as a drug. Because melatonin is unregula