Fact Check

FDA Approves Tranquilizer Dart Guns That Puts Kids to Sleep

Fake news site reports the FDA has approved the sale of a new tranquilizer dart gun intended to put children to sleep.

Published May 8, 2015

A new tranquilizer dart gun on the market is designed to put children to sleep.

On 8 May 2015, the web site Newswatch 28 published an article reporting that the FDA had approved a new tranquilizer dart to put children to sleep:

The Food and Drug Association (FDA) has announced this morning that it has approved pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson's request to produce and sell tranquilizer dart guns specially developed to put kids to sleep.

The alleged new medical device would allow parents to put a child to sleep within 4 seconds, and is said to have no serious longterm consequences on the child's health.

There has been a high demand for such a device for years now, explains to us Ernie Knewitz, media relations vp over at Jonhson and Johnson. We have tested over hundreds of recipes to finally find one that doesnt cause too much damage to the brain despite regular use. We have finally found a mix of PCP and a heroin derivative that seems to do the job.

The above-quoted article was shared thousands of times on Facebook. While most commentators agreed that the sleep-inducing methods described in this story would qualify for cruel and unusual punishment, some claimed that the use of tranquilizer darts on children was a necessary evil.

Regardless, the story is pure fiction. Newswatch 28 is one of the myriad of fake news web sites on the Internet, the purveyor of such invented headlines as
"76-year-old woman expelled from KFC for breastfeeding her 42-year-old son." The site's disclaimer describes their content:

Shocking news and stories, celebrity news and gossip. Whether currently occurring, interesting, controversial, abnormal, thought provoking or satirical, we only wish to inform and entertain with the content we publish.

Regardless of public opinion, the FDA has not approved a tranquilizer dart to put children to sleep. While the above-displayed photograph does feature a child snoozing in a humorous sleeping position, the tranquilizer dart was added to the image via Photoshop. The origins of the photo are unknown, but it has been circulating online as a demotivational poster since at least 2010:

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.