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City: Northside day care worker gave children sleeping medication without parents' consent

Before you take melatonin, know these risks, Consumer Reports says
Posted at 11:00 AM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 11:21:25-05

CINCINNATI — Police are investigating a part-time day care worker who administered over-the-counter sleeping medication to a group of children without their parents’ knowledge or consent.

According to a memo from City Manager Paula Boggs Muething, the worker gave 10 children melatonin gummies on Tuesday during a “school day enrichment program” at McKie Recreation Center in Northside. The Cincinnati Recreation Commission describes the program as “supervised, in-person childcare for those students engaged in a remote learning environment.”

“CRC policies forbid employees from administering medication to a child participating in CRC programs unless authorized by a parent or guardian,” Boggs Muething wrote in the memo.

The worker is no longer employed by the city, she added.

Melatonin is a common sleep aid with few adverse side effects, and Boggs Muething wrote that the dose administered Tuesday — about 2.5 milligrams per child — was safe for the children involved, all of whom were between the ages of 4 and 8.

The children’s parents have been notified and instructed to contact their child’s doctor if they have concerns, according to Boggs Muething.

The Cincinnati Police Department is investigating the incident. No charges have yet been filed against the former employee.