Should Children and Teens Be Taking Melatonin Supplements? – Symphony Natural Health

Can I give my child melatonin supplements?

Try to avoid being influenced by marketing. A staggering 65% of gummy-formulated supplements are marketed toward children (14). They are visually appealing to children and can be pleasing to eat because gummies look and taste like candy!

When searching specifically for melatonin supplements for kids on Amazon, 76 products were available, with most containing imagery or wording appealing to children. For example, many bottles or boxes use primary colors often associated with kid-friendly items, images including cartoon-like animals such as sheep and teddy bears, and wording such as “nighty-night.” Additionally, like most supplements, melatonin supplements are not packaged to be child-proof.

While melatonin supplements appear safe for most children and teens, at present, clear guidelines on the dose, timing, or length of use of melatonin have not been established for this population, with a few exceptions, as noted later in this blog (6,7).

Supplements, generally, are unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S., leaving much room for varying degrees of quality. For example, a recent analysis that made headline news came from researchers in Ontario, Canada. This analysis showed that after testing 31 melatonin products, melatonin was anywhere from 83% less to 478% more per serving than the label claimed. More frighteningly, only a handful of products were within 10% of their label claims (15). Additionally, eight of the melatonin supplements tested contained serotonin, which can create severe health concerns, including the development of serotonin syndrome. Further, up to 13 different contaminants have been identified in synthetic melatonin. For more information, read our blog post: Even if Your Melatonin Says “Natural” it May Not Come From a Plant.

If any person, especially a child or adolescent, uses a product with more melatonin than they think they are taking, we run the risk of misuse or overdose. Additionally, melatonin is available in gummies and chewable forms that can make it more appealing to children, further increasing the risk of misuse or overdose. The appeal of gummies may partly explain the increased number of calls the CDC reported for melatonin ingestion.

In agreement with the recommendations made by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), we encourage parents to employ the lifestyle modifications listed above and to always discuss melatonin supplementation with their healthcare professionals before giving it to children for general sleep support (8).

Source link: by Mona Fahoum, ND and Kim Ross, DCN at