Every time you turn around there is some new danger lurking around the corner for our children. Marketing products to entice kids is no exception either. Moms and dads, there’s a new “buzz” aimed at our children. It is an old item that we indulge in it can turn dangerous when consumed by children and adolescents. I am referring to caffeine. Caffeine is making its way into the hands of children, ranging from 5 years old to 12 years old. Although moderate caffeine consumption is considered safe for adults, very few studies have examined the long-term effects on children. Did you know that children aged 12-17 are the fastest growing daily caffeine users? For children aged 1-5, 55% of the caffeine comes from soft drinks, 30% from tea, and about 14% from chocolate.
Approximately 90% of adults get a picture of caffeine daily. Here are some facts about caffeine:
- Following oral administration it is absorbed within 30-45 minutes
- The effect of reduction within 3 hours
- It is proven to affect mood, stamina, the cerebral vascular system, and gastric and colonic activity.
- A low to moderate intake is 130 mg – 300 mg per day
- A moderate intake is 200 mg – 300 mg per day
- High intake above 400 mg per day
- Heavy consumption is more than 600 mg per day
- According to the US Food and Drug Administration the average daily consumption among Americans is about 280 mg / day
Our children are exposed to this drug products that are designed to target children and young people who 4yrs old. Some children are consuming more than adults, with an average of 2-11 years old take 0.4 mg per kg body weight per day, and those 12-17 years of age consume 00:55 mg / kg per day. It is almost half of the average adult of 1.3 mg / kg per day. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and School health policies and prevention programs (SHPPS) conducted a 2000 survey concluded that 43% of elementary schools, 89.4% of middle / high school, and 98.2% of senior high schools had vending machines or school store that provides access to caffeine-containing foods and beverages. Another study done by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) concluded that of drinks sold in over 13.650 vending machines 70% were sugary drinks such as soda, juice drinks containing less than 50% juice, iced tea and sports drinks. Of the eruptions were only 14% diet and 12% of drinks available were water. Studies have shown that children aged 12-18 who consume over 9 ounces of soda a day to drink less milk and juice and end up consuming about 200 extra calories a day.
Energy drinks are becoming a major health concern among children. They are the fastest growing drink beverage market. Caffeine content of one energy drink can carry five times the amount of one cup of strong coffee. Caffeine is found in water, gum, candy bars, potato chips, and even oatmeal. A study by the National Institute of Mental Health concluded that the 8-13 year-old children who consume large doses of caffeine were judged by teachers who are restless and one third meet the criteria for ADHD (ADHD). A Stanford study based on children in fifth and sixth grades who consumed 28 milligrams of caffeine daily showed they have trouble thinking clearly, were sluggish, and became agitated.
truth is more research needs to be done regarding the long-term effects of caffeine on our children. We do not know how much is too much, every child is different, and some may be more sensitive than others. Kids are introduced to this effect before, and. We do not want our children to learn that they need stimulants to feel that soon could lead to road ready material to feel good, to be vigilant, to sleep, to stay focused, and the list goes on. Children need to be responsible in how they feel and how to deal with it in creative natural way that is adequate sleep, good nutrition, proper water intake, and exercise.