Childhood Diseases

Question
Posted by: Liezl | 2011/03/14

Q.

Melatonin

Hi Dr, I have heard various opinions about this and still not sure what the right one is. Is it safe to give children under 6 melatonin to help them to sleep?

Expert's Reply

A.

Paediatrician

Good question! Melatonin is a natural hormone in the body which controls sleep and the duration of sleep.The synthetic melatonin has never been tested for safety in children but is widely used and is considered to be safe for short term use-it should not be used for periods of longer than 3 to 4 nights at a time with definite breaks of at least 3 or 4 nights in between use. The usual dose is one 3mg tablet given one hour before bedtime.

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