TOO much smartphone use is fuelling a record demand for sleeping pills for children.
Doctors doled out almost half a million prescriptions last year for youngsters who can’t switch off.
Too much smartphone use is fuelling a record demand for sleeping pills for children[/caption]
The allocation of drugs to under-16s has rocketed from 339,848 in 2016 to 487,054 last year — an increase of 43 per cent, official figures reveal.
Kids aged ten were most often given the pills last year, with 53,573 prescriptions — more than 1,000 a week — said the NHS Business Services Authority.
Experts have urged doctors to seek alternatives to pills and NHS guidelines state GPs should not normally prescribe sleep medication to children unless it is for the short-term.
But they also say most of the drugs given to children are lower strength versions.
Doctors doled out almost half a million prescriptions last year for youngsters who can’t switch off[/caption]
Vicki Dawson said: ‘When children don’t sleep well it impacts on their ability to meet their full potential and the whole family unit’[/caption]
Recent in Health News
From infection rates to NHS pressure – why YOUR local area is in tier 2 or 3
Post-Xmas Covid surge will mimic back to uni spike as 'infections could DOUBLE'
Obese Brits will get Covid jabs before millions of over-60s, priority list shows
OFF THE HOOK
How Covid could give you an excuse to dodge the post-Xmas clear up
TAKE A BREATH
Covid is masking the symptoms of deadliest cancer in UK
R-AY OF HOPE
Official R rate could be as low as 0.9 across UK – as 'epidemic is shrinking'
Vicki Dawson, chief executive of The Children’s Sleep Charity, said: “When children don’t sleep well it impacts on their ability to meet their full potential and the whole family unit.
“There are many reasons why more and more children and young people are not sleeping well, from excessive screen time, to inconsistent bedtimes and inadequate bedtime routines.”
A spokesman for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said: “It is always best to first look at behavioural approaches to children’s sleep problems before going down the route of prescribing.”
GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]