Kaiser Permanente Northwest
Emergency Messages as of 2:17 am, Mon. May. 27
No information currently posted.
Subscribe to receive FlashAlert messages from Kaiser Permanente Northwest.
Primary email address for a new account:

  


Manage my existing Subscription

News Release
"Melatonin supplements, while commonly used for sleep regulation, should be used mindfully," said Dr. Kirstin Reinecke, pediatric sleep specialist with Kaiser Permanente in Portland, Ore.
Interviews: Melatonin use in children (Photo) - 05/10/24

Portland, Ore. (May 10, 2024): Pediatricians at Kaiser Permanente Northwest urge parents to exercise caution when considering melatonin supplements for children. After a significant increase in childhood ER visits associated with accidental ingestion, The Council for Responsible Nutrition has called for voluntary action within the industry to enhance packaging and labeling standards for melatonin products.

“Melatonin supplements, while commonly used for sleep regulation, should be used mindfully,” said Dr. Kirstin Reinecke, pediatric sleep specialist with Kaiser Permanente in Portland, Ore. “Parents are encouraged to talk to their pediatrician before starting melatonin.”

A recent report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed a rise in childhood ER visits related to melatonin ingestion while unsupervised, with nearly 5,000 cases involving melatonin gummies alone. Most incidents involve children between 3 and 5 years old, indicating the need for enhanced safety measures.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition recommends updated labeling to include explicit warnings about potential hazards, such as drowsiness and interactions with alcohol. Child-resistant packaging and cautionary statements are also advised, particularly for flavored chewable forms that may appeal to children.

Manufacturers are being encouraged to adopt these guidelines promptly, and Kaiser Permanente supports this action.

Interviews available
Dr. Kirsten Reinecke, pediatric sleep specialist with Kaiser Permanente Northwest, is available for Zoom interviews with media this Monday, May 13 btwn. 8:30-10:30 a.m. Contact Karen Vitt to schedule.

Dr. Reinecke is prepared to discuss:

  • What is melatonin?
  • When do you recommend using melatonin? And when should you consult your pediatrician about whether melatonin is right for your children.
  • Recommendations from the Council for Responsible Nutrition re. enhanced packaging and labeling standards for melatonin products.
  • What can parents do to help with sleep besides offering melatonin?

ABOUT KAISER PERMANENTE

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and nonprofit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.5 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health. For more information, go to about.kp.org.

View more news releases from Kaiser Permanente Northwest.