Cases of children ingesting melatonin unsupervised prompts changes in industry (includes video story)

The demand for melatonin supplements, which are used to regulate sleep, has significantly increased over the past decade. But a recent CDC report revealed a concerning rise in emergency room visits among children who ingested melatonin unsupervised. This alarming trend is prompting discussions about implementing new safety measures in the melatonin industry.

Melatonin, which helps induce sleep and adjust sleep cycles, has seen a surge in popularity, coinciding with an increase in hospital visits by children who consumed it without supervision. As a dietary supplement, melatonin bypasses FDA approval for safety, effectiveness and labeling before being sold to the public. This regulatory gap has raised concerns about the accessibility and safety of melatonin products for children.

The CDC report highlights that between 2019 and 2022, approximately 11,000 children were treated in emergency rooms due to unsupervised melatonin intake. Nearly 5,000 of. those cases involved melatonin gummies. Manufacturers of melatonin supplements are now being urged to voluntarily enhance child-deterrent packaging and improve cautionary labeling on their products.

In response, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, the leading trade association for supplements, has issued new voluntary guidelines. These recommend clearer warning labels about the dangers of drowsiness and choking hazards for small children if the supplements are not properly chewed. Additionally, the council emphasizes the importance of adopting child-safety containers to prevent accidental ingestion by children, aiming to reduce the risk of emergency room visits related to melatonin.

Melissa Krikler is majoring in digital broadcasting with an area of concentration in psychology. She wishes to continue her studies after to receive a master’s.