Tag Archives: medicating children

Things heard on the radio

I was doing a somewhat repetitive project for a few hours the other day so I had the radio on as background. Two child-related ads caught my attention, one directly related to kids (the other less so).

Did you know that you can buy sleep medication for children? I didn’t. I guess I probably knew certain cold or flu products might be indicated for sleep but this was a product intended only for sleep. The voice-over included a child asking for “one more story” at bed-time. There was a time when this would have made a great SNL skit:

“Susie and Johnnie won’t go to sleep at night? Do they keep asking for one more story or another drink of water? Well, worry no more! Just slip them a nighty-night pill in their milk at dinner and you’ll hear no more whining or tolerate rambunctious behavior come bed time!”

Sure, I’ve made fun, but truly, the idea of sleep medication for children IS troubling to me. It could be abused by adults looking to settle their kids down without the pesky tasks inherent in parenting. And, I can’t help but think if a child is having trouble sleeping, something else is probably amiss. Yes, many, many adults have sleep issues and take medications of one sort or another but whether you agree that’s a good idea or not, it’s still different for an adult to make that choice than for a child to be given sleep meds, all the more so if it’s just for normal kid-resistance to going to bed which is what this particular ad implied. I wonder if a child who takes medications to induce sleep is always going to be reliant on them, if not physically, psychologically, even later in life?

I had a friend, a smart person, with sleep issues who claimed insomnia was a “disease.” That didn’t sound right to me at all and I remember at the time looking into it and finding information that said insomnia didn’t exist 100 years ago. That is very telling. Living like people did 100 years ago, with all that entailed, does not sound like fun, but I can’t help but think that it couldn’t hurt to try to replicate at least a few of the habits that made sleeping naturally a routine part of life, starting very young.

The other ad was for the TV show Jeopardy. The voice-over said the show was for “mature audiences.” What? I’m not a regular viewer but I’ve watched the show and that caveat surprised me. Was there a law suit? Complaints? I can’t think what would elicit that warning. Particularly framed against EVERYTHING ELSE kids view. Googling the topic didn’t provide any answers. Racy Jeopardy? At 7:30pm? If it WAS, I might be a more regular viewer.