Washington, DC—Concerning headlines (such as ‘We’re concerned’: Doctors sound alarm on giving melatonin to kids) are circulating the in mainstream media following publication of a research letter (Characteristics of Melatonin Use Among US Children and Adolescents) appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics.
Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder conducted the research. In an article titled Melatonin use soars among children, with unknown risk, the university shared: "Nearly one in five school-aged children and preteens now take melatonin for sleep, and some parents routinely give the hormone to preschoolers, according to new research from CU Boulder published Nov. 13 in JAMA Pediatrics. This concerns the authors, who note that safety and efficacy data surrounding the products are slim, as such dietary supplements lack full regulation by the Food and Drug Administration."
The article quoted lead author Lauren Hartstein, a postdoctoral fellow in the Sleep and Development Lab at CU Boulder: “We hope this paper raises awareness for parents and clinicians, and sounds the alarm for the scientific community. We are not saying that melatonin is necessarily harmful to children. But much more research needs to be done before we can state with confidence that it is safe for kids to be taking long-term.”
CRN Outlines Flaws in Research Letter on Melatonin
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) responded to the research letter, saying it cites irrelevant and flawed data to raise unnecessary alarm about pediatric use of melatonin. Outlining its concerns, CRN stated: