Day care workers gave kids gummy bears containing sleep aid, police say

Mar 13, 2018
04:52 A.M.

The trio was convicted after they purposely gave two to three-year-old kids gummy bears laced with a downer drug.


The three employees from the Kiddie Junction Daycare Center were taken by the authorities after they gave a whole class of young kids gummy bears that had melatonin.

NBC Chicago revealed the three employees’ intended the act for the kids to be able to calm down just in time for their napping period.

The police reported at the suburban daycare center in Des Plaines on March 2, 2018, for a “suspicious incident.”

The three teachers confessed that they indeed had given each student gummy bears with melatonin. The police stated that the parents did not agree to the usage of the substance.


All in all, the class had a dozen children that were aging between two and three years old.

A statement from the Des Plaines authorities read, ‘Allegedly, this was done in an effort to calm [the kids] down before nap time.’

As for the three employees, they said to the police that they did not think to give the kids such a substance was illegal since the sleeping aid can be bought over-the-counter.

Following the incident, the parents were immediately contacted and were informed of what had happened.

32-year-old Kristen Lauletta from Niles, 25-year-old Ashley Helfenbein of Chicago, and 19-year-old Jessica Heyse were separately charged with two counts of endangering the life or health of a child, as well as two counts of battery.

The authorities suggested that there might still be additional charges for the three. Also, the Department of Children and Family Services will conduct an independent investigation over the incident.

In April 2018, Lauletta, Helfenbein, and Heyse are expected to show up in Skokie court.

As for the daycare center, they failed to give an immediate response regarding the case.

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