Caffeinated kids: How much is too much?

A study in the Journal Pediatrics found nearly 75 percent of kids and teens consume caffeine.

"It can cause problems with higher heart rates and high blood pressure. I can also cause problems with irritability and jitteriness," said Seattle Children's Dr. Mollie Grow.

Even more concerning is the effect that caffeine has on sleep.

"It can cause insomnia and difficulty sleeping. We worry about the developing brain and how that's going to affect youth in particular."

The good news she says is that kids are consuming less soda. The bad news is that they're gravitating to flavored coffee drinks.

"They have high amounts of caffeine so they're pretty potent in terms of caffeine content and then there's also quite a bit of sugar in the drinks that youth would prefer especially, " said Dr. Grow.

Then there are the energy drinks. With those, the concern is not just about the high caffeine content.

"There's a lot of other additives and a lot of chemicals that we don't necessarily know what the effects are on young children so were particularly concerned about how that might come into play."

Although, there are no official guidelines regarding caffeine consumption for kids, here's what Dr. Grow recommends:

No caffeine for younger kids.

For teens, no more than one cup a day, which should be consumed in the morning so as not to interfere with sleep.

Skip the energy drinks all together.


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