Great Britain

Too much smartphone use fuelling record demand for sleeping pills for children


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.

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.

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.”

Twitter adds VANISHING tweets called ‘Fleets’ in shock move to rival Instagram and Snapchat

GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]

Football news:

Arteta on Ozil: It is always sad when such a figure leaves
Alabai will move to Real Madrid in the summer. The contract for 4 years is agreed, the salary is about 11 million euros (Marca)
Stefano Pioli: We will look at the table in April. For Milan, every match is the most important
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Together with Mandzukic, we will scare the opponents of Milan. He signed a contract
Milan scored 43 points in 18 rounds - the best result since the 2003-04 season. Then the club became the champion
Aubameyang scored a double in a Premier League match for the first time in the season. Parti's first assist for Arsenal
Chelsea want to buy Holand in the summer and are ready to break their transfer record (The Athletic)