Daycare Workers Accused Of Giving Melatonin-Laced Gummy Bears To Toddlers

Des Plaines day care workers gave melatonin to 2-year-olds before naptime, cops say

Three teachers at a daycare in Des Plaines, Illinois have been charged with endangering the life or health of a child after giving kids gummy bears containing melatonin. Officers arrived Friday afternoon to the Kiddie Junction Daycare Center in Des Plaines after a report of a suspicious incident.

Ashley Helfenbein of Chicago, 25, Jessica Heyse, 19, of Des Plaines and Kristen Lauletta, 32, are charged with battery and child endangerment, according to WGN.

The woman are expected to be in court next month.

Use of the substance had not been authorized by the children's parents, police said.

According to police, the employees didn't think it was inappropriate to do, since it is an over-the-counter sleep aid, according to police.

"You can't distribute that without the parents being told", Des Plaines police Cmdr.

The three teachers were found out after a fellow employee of the daycare called police with concerns about their co-workers' actions. Police said the management of Kiddie Junction was helpful and assisted with the investigation. "(The teachers) didn't know if the child was allergic to melatonin".

It is unclear how long the children had been given the gummies, but it appears none were harmed. The parents of each child at the day care were contacted by police about the situation.

The three face other possible charges.



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