The Benefits and Risks of Melatonin Use in Children: What Every Parent Should Know

Updated on March 26, 2023
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Melatonin supplements can help kids who are prone to sleep difficulties, according to a preliminary study, but this research is still in its infancy. Before giving melatonin pills to a child, it is crucial to discuss them with a medical practitioner.

Here in this article, we will discuss the benefits and risks of melatonin and if melatonin Is safe for kids.  

Is Melatonin Safe for Kids?

Parents’ apprehension is understandable in this situation. When administered correctly, melatonin generally appears to have just a few minor adverse effects in children, such as headaches, increased bedwetting, nightmares, dizziness, mood swings, and morning grogginess, all of which go away when the medication is stopped. Nonetheless, there are still issues because melatonin might impact the hormones linked to puberty, according to studies done on animals. Although there is minimal evidence to support this in humans, there haven’t yet been any lengthy clinical trials that could definitively answer the topic.

  • When should melatonin not be used?
  • You should not use melatonin in the conditions mentioned below.
  • When your child is having situational insomnia such as exam fear, change of school, etc.
  • if the insomnia is only temporary (caused by an ear infection, for example)
  • If there is a health reason for insomnia (like sleep apnea or restless legs)
  • If your child is younger than 3 years.

Melatonin should never be used as a substitute for good sleep hygiene, which includes having a regular, age-appropriate bedtime and routine, abstaining from caffeine, and avoiding using devices or screens just before bed.

Risks of Melatonin

The following are possible adverse effects of melatonin:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Increased bedwetting
  • Irritability
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Potential interaction with medications, including medications for immune disorders
  • Upset stomach

Melatonin use in children has not been thoroughly investigated, and its possible hazards and negative consequences are not entirely understood. Above are some of the symptoms that kids who use melatonin supplements may suffer. Also, parents should consult closely with their child’s pediatrician before using melatonin and be mindful of the possibility of an unintentional overdose.

The long-term implications of melatonin use in children are still mostly unknown. Because melatonin is a hormone, some doctors wonder if it can influence how other hormones develop in adolescence. To further comprehend the long-term negative consequences of melatonin on children, more research must be done.

Melatonin Dosage for Kids

Before giving their child melatonin, parents should speak with their child’s pediatrician to determine the proper amount. Depending on the child’s age and the sleep issue they are experiencing, specialists have different recommendations for the right dosage of melatonin for children. Children’s doses often begin at 1 milligram.

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