Study: Energy drinks and young kids don’t mix

WASHINGTON — There’s growing concern about highly caffeinated energy
drinks getting into the wrong hands.

More than half of calls to U.S. poison control about energy drinks are for
children younger than 6 years old who are suffering from seizures and heart
problems, according to a study

presented over the weekend at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting
in Chicago.

The study says energy drinks and young kids should never mix.

“Energy drinks have no place in pediatric diets,” study co-author Dr. Steven
Lipshultz said in a news release. Also, he serves as chairman of pediatrics at
Wayne State University in Detroit.

In the study, researchers analyzed more than 5,000 calls to poison control
centers from October 2010 to September 2013 that involved energy drinks.

Of the cases reported involving children, it was accidental 40 percent of the
time, the study found.

“They didn’t go to a store and buy it. They found it in the refrigerator, or
left by a parent or an older sibling,” Lipshultz told NBC News.

Also, almost a third of children 6 and younger exhibited serious symptoms —
tremors or seizures, nausea and vomiting — because of energy drink

Energy drinks may contain pharmaceutical-grade caffeine and additional
caffeine from natural sources that may cause the heart to race and blood
pressure to increase.

Although the study shows the damage energy drinks can do to children, the data
only included poison control calls and not emergency room visits.

“The reported data probably represent the tip of the iceberg,” Lipshultz said
in the release.

Follow @WTOP and @WTOPliving on Twitter and WTOP on Facebook.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up