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Caffeine Drinks for Children and Teens?

Posted Nov 20 2012 11:47am

I was greatly surprised by an article in the November 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics Newsletter. It stated that countless children, ages six to ten, were drinking caffeinated beverages. I cannot imagine any parent buying these drink or allowing their kids to drink them. What could they be thinking? The drinks were felt to be responsible for a decrease in the number of hours the kids slept which then caused mood disorders, asthma, and obesity. This claim seems to cover a wide swath of health problems. The report was based on a 2004 National Sleep Foundation study. It showed that 30% of children drank a caffeinated drink daily. Twenty-two percent complained of daytime tiredness several times a week. I think a study of the kids eating habits would also have been important. What else were they consuming?

On 11/16/12  a New York Times article by Barry Meier stated that the F.D.A. was receiving multiple complaints about three energy drinks that contained caffeine. These were: Rockstar Energy drink, Monster Energy, and 5-Star Energy. Several fatalities were reported, but  the F.D.A could not say the deaths were directly connected with the drinks. However, in 2009 there were 12,000 emergency room visits connected to energy drinks, so something is certainly happening. I hope that parents will take heed and discuss these drinks with their older children and certainly not allow the drinks in their homes.




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