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More than 80 percent of American children who visit a doctor for help combating sleep problems are given some form of prescription medication, new research has found, despite the fact that no sleeping pills are currently approved for use in kids.
"The concern with sleep medications is that we don't know how much to use and how long to use these drugs for children," explained study co-author Milap C. Nahata.
That survey found that 60 percent of American boys and girls under the age of 11 experience some kind of trouble getting shut-eye at least a few nights a week, while nearly three-quarters of parents indicated that they would like to alter something about their child's sleep behavior.
Nahata and his colleagues noted that, in the United States, about 75 percent of all prescription drugs are not labeled for pediatric use, and not a single insomnia drug is indicated for use among young patients.