Students fall ill at school after eating sleep-aid gummies

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Two elementary school students became ill Wednesday after eating what was first thought to be Halloween candy. Officials say the candy was actually gummies that contain a sleeping aid. School and health officials raced to Belle Haven School in Dayton Wednesday after students fell ill. The school says it was an isolated incident and did not require hospitalization.

The 911 caller says, “We have three 5th-grade students who aren’t feeling well. One of them brought some candy that might be laced with something.”

Police and paramedics responded after the students felt ill after eating Halloween candy. The caller says, “They’re saying they feel kind of dizzy and woozy. One had to have water splashed on his face. We’ve had the nurse take a look at them.”

But it turns out that candy was actually gummies that are made with an over-the-counter sleep aid that contains melatonin. Melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone in the body; a pediatrician says sleep aid gummies usually contain 1 mg each.

Dr. David Roer says, “So if they take 6 or 9, they’re probably not going to have a dramatic effect. Although they’ll sleep well that night. But the side effects can be nausea, not feeling well, sleeping a little excessively during the day and at night.”

DPS says paramedics determined the students did not need to be treated at the hospital, and say the incident involved just three students. Still, Dr. Rohr says parents should be vigilant: “I think the most important thing, especially at this time of year, is getting tainted candy of some kind. The key is make sure of what your kids are eating. Make sure it’s wrapped up, if you’re not certain get rid of it. Sometimes the best thing to do is to buy your own candy, take what they get, exchange it for what you bought. Then you know it’s safe.”

The DPS statement on the incident says the student who brought the gummies will be disciplined according to the student code of conduct. We reached out to the district’s Director of Student Safety, but have not heard back.

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