October 2, 2022
Pediatric melatonin ingestions spike over last decade, says CDC

ATLANTA, GA – OCTOBER 13: Exterior of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) headquarters is seen on October 13, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)Getty Images

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The yearly number of children who reportedly ingested melatonin increased fivefold between 2012 and 2021, federal health authorities said, with the number of pediatric hospitalizations and other serious outcomes also increasing during that span.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study published Friday tracked a total of 260,435 melatonin ingestions among children, most of which — 94.3% — were unintentional.

While the total represents a small number of all pediatric ingestions, and nearly 83% of children were asymptomatic, the CDC said public health initiatives should focus on raising awareness of melatonin intake, which can cause gastrointestinal, cardiovascular or central nervous system issues.

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