Three daycare staff members in Illinois, Jessica Heyse, 19, Ashley Helfenbein, 25, Kristen Lauletta, 32, admitted to giving melatonin gummy bears to calm the children down, police say.
The women told police they did not think it was inappropriate since the drug is an over-the-counter sleep aid. Officials said the aides are accused of child endangerment and battery.
According to police, A Kiddie Junction Daycare Center manager said employees had been distributing the melatonin gummy bears to the 12 student class without parentel consent.
Giving the supplement to children without parent consent is “a very inappropriate and potentially dangerous act“, neurologist Anna Ivanenko told the Chicago Tribune newspaper.
Melatonin is a sleep hormone that helps regulate sleep and can be purchased over the counter, but should only be dispersed if recommended by a doctor.
The investigation of the three staff workers is ongoing and the woman are set to appear in court on April 4th.