Parents warned not to let children drink energy drinks

Energy drinks containing caffeine and other stimulants are potentially dangerous for children, doctors warn

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Medical experts have warned that common energy drinks could cause “seizures, mania, stroke and sudden death” in children. Drinks that contain taurine, guarana and ginseng as well as high levels of caffeine can be dangerous for under 16s, according to medics writing in the American Journal of Pediatrics.

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“Energy drinks have no therapeutic benefit, and many ingredients are understudied and not regulated,” the review explained. “These drinks have been reported in association with serious adverse effects, especially in children, adolescents, and young adults with seizures, diabetes, cardiac abnormalities or mood and behavioural disorders.”

The report also warned that the drinks could worsen existing heart conditions in children. The drinks contain potentially dangerous levels of caffeine for children aged 5 to 12 and should be avoided.

A spokesman for the British Soft Drinks Association responded, saying, “High caffeine content soft drinks are safe for the general population.” He also added, “The soft drinks industry has adopted a code of practice regarding high caffeine content soft drinks which states that such drinks are not suitable for children. Energy drinks are not promoted or marketed the those under 16.”

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