CHICAGO - Three employees were arrested at a suburban Chicago daycare center last week after police say they gave a class of toddlers gummy bears with melatonin to calm them down for nap time, NBC Chicago reports.
Authorities said they were called to the Kiddie Junction Daycare Center in Des Plaines Friday afternoon for a “suspicious incident.”
There, three teachers admitted to distributing gummy bears with melatonin to children, though the use of the substance had not been approved by parents, police said. The class had 12 children between the ages of two and three, officials said.
“Allegedly, this was done in an effort to calm [the kids] down before nap time,” a release from Des Plaines police read.
The employees involved told authorities they didn’t think giving the children melatonin-laced gummy bears was inappropriate because it is an over-the-counter sleep aid, police said.
Parents with children attending the day care were contacted and told what happened, according to authorities.
Kristen Lauletta, 32, of Niles; Jessica Heyse, 19, of Des Plaines; and Ashley Helfenbein, 25, of Chicago, were each charged with two counts of endangering the life or health of a child and two counts of battery. Police said additional charges are still possible and the Department of Children and Family Services will also conduct an investigation.
The three are expected to appear in Skokie court next month.
Kiddie Junction did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It was not immediately clear if the accused employees had attorneys.