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Daycare Workers Arrested For Giving Kids Melatonin Gummy Bears Before Naptime

Kristen Lauletta, Jessica Heyse and Ashley Helfenbein allegedly gave gummies to toddlers to help them take naps.

By Gina Tron

A gummy bear before nap time? Not a bad deal for a kid.

The only problem: these gummy bears are full of a sleep aid and the parents do not approve. That scenario is exactly what happened at a daycare in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Management at the Kiddie Junction reported one daycare worker to police after they found out she was allegedly giving toddlers melatonin gummy bears. An investigation led police to discover that two other employees were allegedly involved, the New York Daily News reported.

Kristen Lauletta, 32, Jessica Heyse, 19, and Ashley Helfenbein, 25, have been arrested and charged with battery and endangering the life of a child. The three have allegedly admitted to giving the gummies to kids, according to NBC Chicago. The trio said they didn’t see anything wrong with giving out the sleep supplement, which is natural and can be bought over the counter, according to the New York Daily News.
“Allegedly, this was done in an effort to calm [the kids] down before nap time,” a press release, obtained by NBC, states.

The children’s parents did not give permission for the daycare to supply supplements to their children.

Des Plaines police Cmdr. Christopher Mierzwa told the Chicago Tribune, “You can’t distribute that without the parents being told,” Mierzwa said. “[The employees] didn’t know if the child was allergic to melatonin.”

It is unclear if the women have obtained lawyers who can speak on their behalf. They are due in court in April.

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[Photo: Des Plaines Police Department]

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