Teen's Death From Caffeine Overdose Reveals the Dangers of Energy Drinks


A SC teenager's death linked to a caffeine overdose has sparked a discussion among parents and physicians, how much is too much? That averages to about five cups of coffee.

"A single teaspoon can be packed with as much caffeine as 28 cups of regular coffee", Cha reported.

Dr. Hill said even an occasional sip of sweet tea can be harmful for children-even if they do seem to be sleeping well, the caffeine can interfere with a good, healthy sleep cycle even hours afterward. "Other responses to that people can have nausea, vomiting and significant headaches".

The official cause of death was "caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia", Watts said.

"The objective here today is not to slam Mountain Dew, not to slam cafe lattes, it's not to slam energy drinks", Watts said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says energy drinks usually contain additives not tested on children and advises against children and teens drinking energy drinks of any kind.

It's true that caffeinated drinks have become a bigger health concern - we know that the number of emergency room visits involving energy drinks has doubled in recent years.

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In the wake of the teenager's death, physicians urge people to drink caffeine in moderation, according to WJZ-TV. A generously caffeinated energy drink might contain 300 mg of caffeine - so a person would need to quickly drink 10 to reach deadly blood levels of the stimulant. No drugs or alcohol were found in his system when he died. But it was something legal that led to his death- caffeine.

Adults can consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day without any adverse affects, according to Health Canada.

If you're consuming more than the recommended amount, there are signs to look out for.

While a coffee or soda here and there is okay, Coddington said parentsshould make their kids aware of the dangers of too much caffeine.

However, it suggests daily caffeine intake for this age group should not exceed 2.5 mg/kg body weight.

Reider said the CPS committee he chairs is planning a teleconference next week on the issue, which could result in a future position statement or practice point for pediatricians as to what advice they should give adolescent patients about consuming energy drinks.

They also say that kids should avoid energy drinks. "I think you should use them with caution, if at all".