Energy drinks pose threat to young children
Thousands of young children have suffered dangerous side effects from consuming energy drinks in recent years, usually without knowing what they were drinking, according to a a report presented today at a meeting of the American Heart Association.
After noticing an increasing number of children being brought into the emergerncy room after drinking energy drinks, in 2010 doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan started to focus on quantifying the trend and for three years analyzed data from all the poison control centers in the U.S.
The report revealed 5,156 cases between October 2010 and September 2013, with about 40 percent of them involving children younger than the age of six. Many of the patients had experienced serious side effects, researchers said, including seizures, irregular heart rhythms and blood pressures that were described as “dangerously high.”
The study also found that the energy drinks with caffeine and other additives—such as plant extracts and amino acids—caused more severe problems than did the energy drinks with no additives.
The researchers said that even though the effects of specific ingredients in energy drinks are not yet known, they concluded that their consumption has the potential to have serious side effects. They warned that parents and siblings of young children should not allow them access to the drinks, especially if the children have risk factors, such as a seizure disorder or a predisposition to high blood pressure.