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Daycare workers arrested after reportedly giving toddlers melatonin gummy bears

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Law enforcement arrested three Illinois daycare workers after they reportedly gave toddlers in their care melatonin-laced candy to relax before nap time.

What are the details?

The three Chicago-area workers — Kristen Lauletta, 32, Ashley Helfenbein, 25, and Jessica Heyse, 19 — stand accused of child endangerment and battery, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.

Melatonin is an over-the-counter natural supplement often used to induce a state of relaxation for sleep. The body also naturally produces melatonin.

The women were arrested after the daycare center's management at Kiddie Junction reported the incidents to police.

According to police, the three women didn't think they were doing anything wrong in passing out the supplement, and parents were not aware that the daycare workers were reportedly passing out the melatonin candies.

Neurologist Dr. Anna Ivanenko told the Tribune that giving melatonin to children — especially without parental consent — is "very inappropriate and potentially dangerous."

No children were injured as a result of the melatonin allegations, the paper reported.

State family services launched an investigation as a result of the womens' actions, the Tribune noted. A spokesperson for the organization said that the daycare had no previous violations.

Lauletta, Helfenbein, and Heyse are all due to appear in court on April 4.

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