Washington, D.C.—As WholeFoods Magazine previously reported, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released data regarding the use of melatonin in children. The finding: During 2012–2021, the annual number of pediatric ingestions of melatonin increased 530% (a total of 260,435 ingestions reported). CDC noted that “pediatric hospitalizations and more serious outcomes also increased, primarily because of an increase in unintentional melatonin ingestions in children aged ≤5 years.”
In 2020, melatonin became the most frequently ingested substance among children reported to national poison control centers, according to the CDC report. The study authors added that more research is needed to describe the toxicity and outcomes associated with melatonin ingestions in children.
CHPA Points to Education Initiative
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) was among the industry groups to issue a statement in response to the CDC report. Duffy MacKay, Senior Vice President of Dietary Supplements, said:
“Keeping young children safe by preventing them from accidentally ingesting dietary supplements is of the utmost importance to manufacturers. Melatonin is a safe and beneficial dietary supplement for adults and children, regulated by the FDA, and consumed by millions of Americans to support and promote healthy sleep and wellness when used as directed on Supplement Facts labels.
“The CDC report appropriately calls for more public education initiatives to prevent accidental unsupervised pediatric exposures to melatonin, such as ‘safe storage’ and ‘appropriate use’ initiatives, and CHPA agrees. CHPA and our members are involved in a number of long-term efforts targeted at preventing accidental unsupervised ingestions by young children including the Up and Away campaign led by CHPA’s Educational Foundation and the CDC’s PROTECT Initiative, which works to educate and remind parents and caregivers about safe use and storage of healthcare products, always keeping them out of reach and sight of curious, young children.
“For more information on the safe storage of medicines and dietary supplements including melatonin, consumers can visit UpandAway.org as well as speak with their healthcare providers.”