Giving Children Medicine to Sleep Can Lead to Death

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -It’s not always easy putting your child to bed, which can lead to parents giving their children medicine to help them sleep, but the Georgia Child Fatality Review Panel (GCFRP) said you shouldn’t.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and GCFRP want parents to stop giving children medicine to sleep.

Jenelle Fernandez, a Doctor at Navicent Health, said there are other ways to get your child to sleep at bedtime.

“Make a good environment for the child. Whether it be dim the lights, play some music, rock them to sleep, even sometimes drive them around in the car, you know, if that’s what makes them drowsy,” Fernandez said.

And if your child is older than two, cutting TV time helps them sleep.

“They should not be watching TV more than two hours before they go to sleep,” Fernandez said. “We also want to avoid caffeine in children cause that will cause them to not, you know, sleep well.”

Using medicine like Benadryl can actually make your child stay awake.

“Benadryl can sometimes have the opposite effect, causing the child to become hyperactive and really the only uses for benadryl should be to treat allergy or hay fever, sometimes even motion sickness, other than that, there is no other indication for Benadryl,” she said.

And if your child still has problems sleeping when they become a teenager, you can ask a doctor what medicine they recommend to help them sleep.

“If they are having extra hard time going to sleep or they’re on stimulants, or you know, any of those type of things, then we do sometimes say, go ahead and try melatonin,” Fernandez said.

Melatonin is a medication that gives teens more hormones to help them sleep.

But, Fernandez said the best way to get your child to sleep is having a good sleeping environment.

 

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