Daycare employees accused of giving kids melatonin gummies to calm them down for nap time

U.S. & World

DES PLAINES, IL (WCMH) – Three employees of a Chicago-area daycare center are facing charges after police say they gave toddlers melatonin gummies to calm them down for nap time.

NBC Chicago reported police responded to the Kiddie Junction Daycare Center in Des Plaines Friday.

Three teachers admitted to giving the gummies to children, despite not being approved by parents.

There were 12 two and three-year-olds in the class.

“Allegedly, this was done in an effort to calm [the kids] down before nap time,” a release from Des Plaines police read.

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.

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.

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