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Caffeine Can Harm Children

Caffeine Can Harm ChildrenA new study finds that parents need to be more diligent regarding their children’s caffeine consumption.

Caffeine consumption in children is often blamed for sleep problems and bedwetting.

However, information on childhood caffeine consumption is limited, and many parents may not know the amount or effects of their child’s caffeine consumption.

In the study published in The Journal of Pediatrics, researchers found that 75 percent of children surveyed consumed caffeine on a daily basis, and the more caffeine the children consumed, the less they slept.

Dr. William Warzak and colleagues from the University of Nebraska Medical Center surveyed the parents of over 200 children 5 to 12 years old during routine clinical visits at an urban pediatric clinic. Parents were asked to report the types and amounts of snacks and beverages their child consumed on a daily basis.

According to Dr. Warzak, “Some children as young as 5 years old were consuming the equivalent of a can of soda a day.”

The authors also noticed that the older children drank more caffeinated beverages. “Children between the ages of 8 and 12 years consumed an average of 109 mg a day,” Dr. Warzak explains, “the equivalent of almost 3 12-ounce cans of soda.”

Researchers found, however, that caffeine was not linked to bedwetting in these children.

“Contrary to popular belief,” Dr. Evans, coauthor and statistician, clarifies, “children were not more likely to wet the bed if they consumed caffeine, despite the fact that caffeine is a diuretic.”

The study authors stress the importance of parental awareness regarding their child’s caffeine consumption.

“Parents should be aware of the potentially negative influence of caffeine on a child’s sleep quality and daily functioning,” Dr. Warzak asserts.

The authors suggest that primary care pediatricians may be able to help by screening patients for caffeine consumption and educating parents about the potentially harmful effects of caffeine.

Source: Elsevier Health Sciences

Caffeine Can Harm Children

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Caffeine Can Harm Children. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 20, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2010/12/20/caffeine-can-harm-children/21976.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.