Multiple Daycare Workers Allegedly Put Melatonin on Kids’ Food

Multiple Daycare Workers Allegedly Put Melatonin on Kids' Food

( – Parents drop off their children at daycare, expecting the staff to have them well in hand. However, some daycare owners and employees violate the trust placed in them. In New Hampshire, authorities have arrested four people for allegedly giving children in their care melatonin without parental consent.

According to a Facebook post, the Manchester NH Police received a tip in November 2023 about “unsafe practices going on in an in-home daycare.” Detectives with the Manchester Police Juvenile Divison immediately began investigating and found that workers were allegedly sprinkling melatonin on the children’s food. The daycare hadn’t informed or obtained consent from the children’s parents to give the supplement. It’s also unclear how much workers were giving to the children or how long they had continued the practice.

Some people take melatonin to help regulate sleep patterns, but it’s not for everyone. Doctors advise caution for use in younger children and typically don’t recommend it for those under 3. Sold as an over-the-counter supplement, it’s readily available. However, there’s no way to know how a child might react to the supplement, a concern expressed by Manchester Police Department spokesperson Heather Hamel.

As a result of the investigation’s findings, a judge issued arrest warrants for the daycare owner, 52-year-old Sally Dreckmann, and three employees, Kaitlin Filardo, 23, Jessica Foster, 23, and Traci Innie, 51. All four surrendered themselves to the police, who charged each of them with 10 counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The court has scheduled them to appear next month.

The details of the ongoing investigation are scant. It’s unclear how detectives determined the daycare staff was giving the children melatonin. Fortunately, none of the kids required medical care due to the alleged dosing.

While many states require licensing for people to use their homes as daycare centers, New Hampshire allows for some exceptions. The center in question wasn’t licensed.

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