What impact can caffeine have on your young children?

Their hands are shaking, can't hold still, their brain is freaking out! What does these symptoms mean?

It's what some might call a caffeine rush, followed by a crash. One can alone is too much especially for an adolescent, but, that's not stopping them.

Its estimated 30-50 percent of adolescents regularly consume some form of energy drink. Athletic trainers see it too often.

Typically these kids are coming to us in first quarter in first hour of practice and saying I don't feel well.

There is really no use for caffeine for children and adolescents.

Why isn't caffeine good for kids?  Read on to find out.

Doctor Timothy Doran is the chairman of pediatrics at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

He says the effects of too much caffeine start with irritability. The jitters and a rapid heard beat, but too much and things can get worse.

We have every year 5,000 patients who come to the ER for caffeine overdoses and of hose half of them are children and ado and In those cases children have consumed far too much caffeine and can have seizures, liver failure, kidney failure.

When that happens, it's called caffeine intoxication. It's when the body can't handle that much caffeine at one time. Here's how these so-called energy drinks add up.

A 16 ounce can of monster energy drink contains 160 milligrams of caffeine. That's equivalent to about four cans of DR Pepper or two cups of regular coffee.

A 12 ounce Rockstar 2x contains 250 milligrams of caffeine equivalent to six cans of soda, or more than 3 cups of coffee.

Too much sugar, too much caffeine, leading to a future of problems.

From a caloric stand point you're leading to obesity ... dental decay.

Energy drinks are classified as a dietary supplement, so there is no regulation by the FDA.

When you look at the labeling you have to really get a microscope to find caffeine in the very tiny print. They list vitamins and it appears as though it's a nutritional supplement. So it looks like a healthy drink.

The sales of these drinks has now topped 8 billion a year, which tells you its being marketed heavily.

But that doesn't mean sports drinks are out, at least in moderation.

If you're at football practice there is a place for sports drinks as opposed to energy drinks that really are just sugar and caffeine.

Having a tired teen.... is part of life. Fatigue is common in adolescents with their changing schedules. They're up later and getting up earlier, especially when the school year starts.

Dr. Doran says energy drinks, are not the solution to getting children energized.

They need more sleep. It's really not about caffeine giving them a buzz or a boost.
 

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