Brownies full of melatonin can be dangerous for children

By Andrew Douglas - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) – Many people have heard of pot brownies.  Now, experts are issuing a warning about a new, legal magic brownie that replaces marijuana with melatonin.

Lazy Cakes are touted as the world's first "relaxation" brownie.  Their secret ingredient, melatonin, along with a host of other calming herbs, are said to put a smile on your face, and help melt your problems away.  Experts warn, however, that the deserts are for adults only.

"A lot of adults will take it to help go to sleep and get a good night sleep," said Dr. Ann Payne of Baptist Memorial Health Care. "The problem is the actual brownie has four times the amount that you would get in a normal capsule."

It was a lesson Kizwanna Cummings learned the hard way, after her brother, Kameron, inadvertently gave a Lazy Cakes brownie to her two-year-old son.

"He wanted some, so I just cut him off a little piece," Kameron said. "I didn't really know what it was.  I just thought it was going to be a regular-type brownie."

But the brownie had a big affect on the little child.

"We didn't think anything of it until my mom looked on the back of it and it said recommended for adults only," Kizwanna said.

By then, it was too late.  Little Michael had passed out.

"He just kind of laid down and went to sleep," Kameron said.. "He would sleep and he wouldn't wake up, and when he was waking up he was crying a lot."

Michael ended up in the hospital.

"What we've seen with the kids is that they go to sleep and adults sometime have a hard time waking them up," Payne said. "Sometimes the kids have been taken to the emergency room, and even in the emergency room there is no way to wake them up."

According to Terry Harris, the CEO of HHB, LLC., "The product is clearly marked as being intended for adults only."

That is true – the package and the website have a warning.  The makers go on to say, "We trust they will make educated decisions about what they choose to consume. "

But Kameron Cummings said he had no trouble purchasing the brownie, and he's only 15.

"I should have never gave it to him really, but the main thing is that the store shouldn't have sold it to me without asking for my ID," he said.

Was a lazy store clerk to blame?  You decide.  Meanwhile, doctors like Ann Payne say products like Lazy Cakes, or any other melatonin supplement, should not be allowed to get into the wrong hands.

"It will kill you if you get the wrong dose, yes," she said. "It's a drug.  These brownies are definitely a drug."

Lazy Cakes are manufactured by a Memphis-based company. They say they have never found any reference to anyone having died from melatonin, and cite a 2002 report in Pediatrics that says 15-percent of pediatricians have actually recommended melatonin to help kids who have insomnia.

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