Many patients, acquaintances or even on social networks, ask me about the use of melatonin in children.
Nowadays, it is possible to buy melatonin drops to help children sleep. This ease of obtaining melatonin in any pharmacy has led to its widespread use by moms and dads.
So it seems to us very important to explain that the use of melatonin alone and as the only treatment for sleep problems in infants and children is not enough. It should only be used as an adjunct to appropriate behavioral standards for sleep.
It is evident that it seems easier to give a few drops to the little one, than to teach him/her some pre-sleep routines that will help him/her to sleep well forever. These routines or nomas, which we have been recommending for many years, are the same as those recommended by the American Pediatric Society among other medical and scientific organizations.
Our recommendation is that the use of melatonin should not be done without prior consultation with the pediatrician. It is necessary to explain the situation and the causes of the corresponding childhood insomnia. This is very important because the major cause of childhood insomnia is the lack of these behavioral norms.
If there is a medical cause, such as an otitis or an intolerance, melatonin will not help you rest.
It is very important to understand that the use of melatonin in children should always be consulted with a pediatrician who knows the causes of insomnia. It is also important to know that it should be used as a complement to the sleep rules so that this easy access does not lead to a misuse of melatonin with children.