Does caffeine consumption really matter for kids?
My childhood friends love to point out how downright hilarious it is that the tiny girl who used to pound Mountain Dew in the cafeteria became a health writer. It’s true, I loved the stuff and as a spastic 15-year-old I certainly didn’t need the extra boost. But today we know a lot more about caffeine consumption and its impact on kids.
Ideally, kids under 12 years old shouldn’t be consuming any caffeine. While it doesn’t stunt growth like we previously thought, caffeine is a drug and it’s too strong for kids. While kids consume less soda than in years past, coffee beverages and energy drinks have seen an increase. And many of these newer products (that thankfully weren’t around in my rebellious youth) are much more powerful than soda.
According to LiveScience:
When you're consuming caffeine in hot coffee, you usually sip it over a period of an hour or more. A caffeine pill or powder is essentially a shock to the central nervous system. Another concern is the recent fad of teens combining energy drinks with alcohol. The caffeine decreases the sensation of feeling drunk and that can lead to risky behaviors and bad decision-making.
These potent products have even sent kids to the emergency room and in rare cases, caused death. Although it should be noted that these kids usually had prior conditions. But even in less serious cases, caffeine has a truly negative impact on hyper kids and already hormonal teens causing anxious and nervous behavior, stomach issues, restlessness, and problems sleeping.
It’s important to take an aerial look of your kid’s consumption. This means reading the labels of products that you might not have known contained caffeine. Chocolate should be consumed in moderation. And be vigilant when you head to coffee shops because those oversized, overly sweet concoctions can be loaded with caffeine.
Related on Organic Authority: