Had your coffee yet this morning? Your Diet-Coke?
Well, if you think your addiction to caffeine is something to deal with, consider how many kids may be dealing with caffeine addiction. Caffeine is in many soft drinks they consume regularly--iced tea, soda, energy drinks, and of course, coffee. Caffeine is even in chocolate bars!
According to kidshealth.org: Caffeine is defined as a drug because it stimulates the central nervous system. At lower levels, it can make people feel more alert and energetic.
But too much caffeine in kids or adults can cause:
- jitteriness and nervousness
- upset stomach
- difficulty concentrating
- difficulty sleeping
- increased heart rate
- increased blood pressure
Caffeine moves through the body within a few hours and is then
passed through the urine. It's not stored in the body, but kids may
feel its effects for up to 6 hours if they're sensitive to it. High schoolers
may use caffeine to stay awake for late night studying, but the
ill-effects of the "caffeine crash" may be more than they bargain for.
For this reason, most medical professionals suggest that kids consume as little caffeine
as possible. The dilemma with older kids, however, is that it can be
hard to know how much they're really taking in. Do you really know how many sodas your teen drinks a day?
If you want to read more on kids and caffeine here on CM, check out Kids and Coffee: A Good Combination?
Do your kids seem to crave caffeinated drinks?