Caffeine’s Effect on Kids

Kids Under 12 Drink Caffeine Every Day

Kids are drinking caffeine every day. A lot of caffeine. Recently a mom, while purchasing a coffee for herself, purchased café mocha and split it between her two-year-old twins.

Before you feel too superior, you may be allowing your children to consume caffeine as well. Maybe you’re not giving your toddler a café mocha, but caffeinated soda has the same effect.

As many as 75 percent of American children consume caffeine daily. The Journal of Pediatrics reports of a survey with 228 families from an urban outpatient pediatric clinic.

Five to 7 year old children drank approximately 52 mg of caffeine daily. That’s equivalent to a can of caffeinated soda a day.  Eight to 12 year old children drank twice that, 109 mg daily.

Caffeine consumption and hours slept were significantly negatively correlated, but caffeine consumption and enuresis (bed wetting) were not significantly correlated. Spanish-speaking parents reported fewer bed wetting events than their English-speaking peers.

Harper like to pretend to drink coffee.
She has no idea how harmful caffeine is,
especially for kids.

The Food and Drug Administration has not developed pediatric guidelines for caffeine consumption. Do we really need the government to set guidelines for children’s caffeine consumption?

Coffee Not Sole Source of Caffeine
Caffeine occurs naturally in coffee beans, tea leaves, cocoa and cola nuts. It stimulates the central nervous system. It’s classified as a drug.

Parents sometime unknowingly (or even knowingly) serve soda, carbonated beverages, cold drinks, caffeinated soft drinks, chocolates, coffee ice creams, tea, iced tea, hot cocoa and many cold medicines with caffeine.

Effects of Caffeine
Even a small amount of caffeine can affect children in many detrimental ways. Caffeine may cause headaches, stomach upsets, concentration and sleeping problems, nervousness and being hyper, bet wetting, increased blood pressure and increased heart rate.  In addition, nutritional deficiencies may occur, because the vitamins and minerals, which are required for a child’s health, are often replaced by sweetened caffeinated drink containing only empty calories.

The high sugar content in sweetened caffeinated drinks can lead to dental cavities and erode the enamel of the teeth from acidity. What’s worse is a child’s risk for obesity is increased by 60 percent just by consuming 350 ml sweetened soft drink per day.

Caffeine is a diuretic. A glass of water is recommended with every ounce of caffeine consumed, as caffeine causes water loss from the body (through urination). Especially in warm weather caffeine is a very bad choice for children and it may cause dehydration. Bet wetting may be a problem in children consuming caffeine.

Caffeine is addictive and if abruptly stopped can cause many withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, irritability, temporary depression and muscle aches.

This Year, May Your Holidays Be Happy And Healthy.

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