Daycare Worker Arrested for Drugging Kids to Make Them Nap

A daycare worker has been arrested for slipping drugs into her young charges' pancakes to make them sleepy and quiet. Tammy Eppeley has been charged with endangering children -- one of them her own 2-year-old daughter -- after police say they found evidence that she was slipping Benadryl and melatonin into pancakes that she then served to kids ages 2 to 5. Eppeley says she only gave them the sleepy aids with permission of the parents. What's going on here?

Eppeley reportedly was "bragging" about how "perfectly still and being quiet or asleep" her charges were in a video that she sent to a friend of hers, who promptly went to the cops.

Now Eppeley says that the cops are "obsessed" with trying to put her into jail, when in point of fact she only gave the sleep-inducing medications to the kids who were "hyperactive" and that parents were aware of it. She did admit to making jokes about the situation in text messages, but says that they were just jokes. None of the kids were harmed.

Giving kids Benadryl or melatonin is nothing new -- apparently a lot of parents do it. Certainly a lot of parents joke about it. No word on whether the cops actually tested the pancakes or are just going on Eppeley's "jokes." She claims she said things like: "It was, 'Good grief, I wish these kids would go to sleep, I wish I could drug them.' " But Eppeley says she regrets making that comment.

Eppeley was only caring for six children, including one of her own, at home, so apparently she didn't need a license. Here's my question: If Eppeley didn't want to deal with hyperactive children, then why is she running a daycare in her home?

This sounds like a case of someone doing something stupid, and then exaggerating it, and then talking to the wrong people (or the right people, as the case may be), and then getting into a heaping helping of trouble. If you're not willing to take full responsibility for the kids in your charge -- without drugging them -- then you shouldn't be in that business. I don't care what parent gave you permission. Kids shouldn't be doped up during the day when they should be playing and learning. But should over-the-counter Benadryl and the natural hormone melatonin -- which many parents give their kids -- be considered hardcore drugs that could land a woman in prison? If she did it with parents' permission, no. But I still don't think this woman is cut out to run a daycare.

Do you think what she did was wrong?


Image via Westerville Police Dept.

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EvaSa... EvaSamuel

This person did not have permission from the children's parents to give them the drugs.  Here is the link to the local news story...

keelh... keelhaulrose

I don't care if everyone up to the freaking pope advocates it, that doesn't mean you can legally do it. One wrong dosage or bad reaction and this story could have been tragic.

I think the list of parents who would agree to letting their kids be doped like this is short, to find five others like herself seems like a long shot.

Unfortunately these unlicensed situations are something that too many parents must turn to, as they're cheaper than a daycare center.

nonmember avatar MammaMel

no...just's not ok! Melatonin, maybe by doctor's orders...otherwise NO! Now, my son did have 1/2 cup of sleepy-time tea (like really...the stuff you buy at the store)...but that was what the doctor said to give him when he quit nursing at 2 years old...

twili... twilightsbella

There is no excuse to drug ur kids to make them go to sleep. I have three kids ages 5yrs 3yrs and 9mths old when they dnt wanna sleep wen its time for bed than i read them books put on lulluby music or let them lay in bed watching cartoons which puts them to sleep in about 30 min. You dnt drug ur own kids or noone elses. Dnt be a daycare worker if u cant handle hyperactive kids

lived... livedove13

Thanks, EvaSamuel, for giving us the link to the entire story. I don't even know why I bother to read from this site anymore. The stories are either old news, or incomplete/inaccurate.


Evaly... EvalynCarnate

I think a lot of parents joke about drugging their kids to go to sleep. I certainly have. But it was only in a moment of desperation and I certainly didnt DO it. What this woman did was wrong, plain and simple. Idiots.

Bunny Lee DuChemin Wilson

I would never give a child melatonin at all...even if deemed safe. A common side effect of melatonin (which isnt a drug, BTW) it more vivid dreams and for me that translates into horrifically frightening nightmares. I wouldnt take that chance with a child.

Amanda Marie Mahrling

My son's psychaitrist TOLD us to give him meletonin and benadryl. Needless to say, we freaking changed doctors.

Elizabeth Crowder Farr

Absolutely wrong!!! After me and my husband were married his daughter from his previous marriage came to spend the summer with us. The first night she was there she brought me a container of Benadryl tabs and said she needed to take her nighttime medicine. Granted she was and still is a hyper child, but I could not believe her mom was telling her it was her nighttime medicine. I didn't give it to her all summer. Not sure what my husband's ex did when she went home, but I would never participate in this. My own 4 yr old is also hyper but would never drug her to get her to sleep. i just deal with it and try to Jo the best I can.

Dave Pottinger

As a retired Middle school teacher there were days I wish I could use an aerosol can of ritalin/adderall/benadryl BUT all kidding aside I wouldnt take that chance with a child. 

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