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The Dangers of Energy Drinks to Children – What Every Parent Needs to Know

By David Wolf, Attorney Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Energy drinks are beverages that are marketed as products that they “boost energy.” These advertisements usually do not emphasize energy derived from the sugar they contain but rather increased energy release due to a variety of stimulants and vitamins. A new study said that energy drinks such as Red Bull, AMP and Rockstar have no health value and may even harm some children and teens.

Dr. Steven E. Lipshultz, co-author of the study published in the journal Pediatrics, said that the highly popular, yet caffeinated drinks are especially risky for children with heart abnormalities, attention-deficit hyperactivity order (ADHD) or other health or emotional problems. He said the energy drinks are a set of products that have no therapeutic benefits and are totally unregulated.

A survey suggested that 30 percent to 50 percent of teenagers and young people in the United States consume energy drinks, despite safety warnings. In addition, the researchers say that many users mix the energy drinks with alcohol, which can increase the risk for ill effects. And even without alcohol, the drinks still can be a danger.

Redbull officials said in a statement, “The effects of caffeine are well-known, and as an 8.4-ounce can of Red Bull contains about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee [80 mg], it should be treated accordingly.” However, according to Lipshultz, the drinks are consumed differently and faster. He said “You might take a couple at a time; it’s unusual to take a hot cup of coffee and rapidly ingest multiple cups. It’s a little bit different.”

The FDA currently limits caffeine drinks to 71 mg per 12-ounce serving, but authors of the study noted that energy drink makers get around the rule by labeling their products “natural.”
For more informatoin on this topic, see the dangers of energy drinks.