4 Daycare Workers in the US Charged with Adding Melatonin to Children's Food

4 Daycare Workers in the US Charged with Adding Melatonin to Children’s Food

Four daycare workers in New Hampshire were detained on Thursday after it was reported that they had tampered with the food of the kids by adding melatonin, a sleep aid.

The inquiry at the Manchester, New Hampshire, daycare—about thirty minutes outside of Concord, the state capital—in November 2023 led to the arrests.

Police conducted a six-month investigation and found evidence of covert melatonin dosing on minors. The daycare’s owner, 52-year-old Sally Dreckmann, was taken into custody by police, along with three of her staff members: 51-year-old Traci Innie, 23-year-old Jessica Foster, and Kaitlin Filardo.

According to authorities, their investigation revealed that “the children’s food was being sprinkled with melatonin without their parent’s knowledge or consent.”

According to the New York Daily News, Dreckmann and her three coworkers are each accused of putting children in danger ten times over.

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On Friday, it remained unknown how many and how long the daycare’s youngsters had been receiving melatonin.

Over-the-counter melatonin supplements are available as sleep aids. However, nothing is known about melatonin’s long-term effects on kids.

In addition, melatonin overdoses in children have been documented on multiple occasions in the past few years. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that between 2012 and 2021, children who had inadvertently consumed melatonin accounted for around 7% of visits to emergency rooms.

The US Food and Drug Administration does not have regulatory authority over melatonin, but the American Academy of Sleep Medicine released a health advisory before using the sleep aid around children and teenagers.

According to WBZ News, police also found that Dreckmann’s daycare lacked a license. In New Hampshire, running an unlicensed childcare center is permissible as long as no more than three kids are observed there at once.

“I’m a grandparent so I know,” Gary Boucher stated. “That’s outrageous – it really is”.

“If it was my child, I’d be extremely upset.”

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With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.