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Four American educators accused of adding melatonin to children's food | New Hampshire

Four American educators accused of adding melatonin to children's food |  New Hampshire


Four workers at a New Hampshire day care center allegedly spiked children's food with melatonin, a sleep supplement, and were arrested Thursday.

The arrests stem from a November 2023 investigation at a daycare in Manchester, New Hampshire, about 30 minutes from the state capital of Concord.

Authorities were called to investigate a report of unsafe practices at the daycare in question, ABC News reported, citing a press release from the Manchester Police Department.

After six months of investigation, police discovered that children had been given stealth doses of melatonin. Officers arrested the daycare's owner, Sally Dreckmann, 52, as well as three of her employees: Traci Innie, 51; Kaitlin Filardo and Jessica Foster, both 23 years old.

The children's food was sprinkled with melatonin without the knowledge or consent of their parents, police said after the investigation.

Dreckmann and his three colleagues each face 10 child endangerment charges, the New York Daily News reported.

As of Friday, it was unclear how many children at the daycare were receiving melatonin or for how long.

Melatonin is a sleep aid supplement sold over the counter. But the long-term impacts of melatonin on children are not widely known.

Additionally, several cases of children receiving an overdose of melatonin have been reported in recent years. About 7% of emergency room visits between 2012 and 2021 involved children who accidentally ingested melatonin, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has issued a health warning regarding the use of melatonin in children and adolescents, warning of the lack of oversight from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for this sleep aid .

Police also discovered that Dreckmann Daycare was not licensed, WBZ News reported. It is legal to operate an unlicensed daycare in New Hampshire as long as no more than three children are supervised there at a time.

Local neighbors told WBZ they didn't know a daycare was operating in their community.

I'm a grandparent, so I know, said Gary Boucher. It's truly scandalous.

If it were my child, I would be extremely upset.

Boucher also said he hoped authorities would go beyond arrests at the daycare and close the facility.




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