Three Day Care Teachers Arrested for Giving Toddler's Melatonin

  • Three Day Care Teachers Arrested for Giving Toddler's Melatonin

Three Day Care Teachers Arrested for Giving Toddler's Melatonin

The teachers each told authorities they didn't think giving the children melatonin-laced gummy bears was inappropriate because it is available over-the-counter.

Police responded to the daycare facility last Friday after pre-school management reported that they suspected the gummies were being given to the children.

Subsequent investigation revealed that 32-year-old Kristen Lauletta, 19-year-old Jessica Heyse, and 25-year-old Ashley Helfenbein, all three of them Kiddie Junction employees, have been giving toddlers gummy bears laced with melatonin, a sleep supplement.

Melatonin is said to be a synthetic form of a naturally occurring hormone in a person's body, produced by the pineal, which regulates circadian rhythms, that controls the body's sleep cycle.

"This is just a frightful case of bad judgement", Des Plaines Police Chief William Kushner said.

Three teachers admitted to giving the gummies to children, despite not being approved by parents. The class had 12 children between the ages of two and three, officials said.

Three teachers at a day care center in northwest suburban Des Plaines have been charged with drugging children with the sleep aid melatonin.

Both authorities and the daycare center notified the children's parents and let them know what happened.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that a separate investigation will come from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. The teachers are scheduled to appear in court on April 4.

A person who answered the phone Monday at Kiddie Junction said the facility had no comment.