JOPLIN, Mo. --With kids busy schedules in high gear for school and sports, and sleep a rare commodity, energy is in high demand!
But popular energy drinks can be extremely dangerous for your kids. Action 12's Morgan Schutters reports in this week's Freeman Medical Focus.
There's no FDA control over energy drinks. But health experts say maybe there should be.
"Everybody's drinking them," Alyssa Longman, Diamond Middle School 8th Grader says.
They're not recommended for kids under 18, the group most likely to be peer-pressured into drinking them.
"A lot of times when people around me are drinking them and we make a pit stop and I just go and get one," Longman says.
Local health officials say caffeine stimulants in energy drinks are under-researched and can be dangerous.
"Elevated blood pressure for both adults and children - but children also had a lower heart rate and sleep disturbances," Julia Foster RN, NP-C, Nurse Practitioner says.
That's not the only health concern for kids; over indulging can cause kidney and liver damage, seizures, heart attacks and even death.
Kids should never drink them on a regular basis.
50 milligrams of caffeine are in a regular soda, 70 in only one ice tea. But an average energy drink is in the hundreds of milligrams. Health experts say kids should only have one soda a day or less.
"I can tell from the caffeine it really keeps me up all the time. It helps me stay up 3 or more hours than normal," Longman says.
Instead of turning to the drinks, health experts say you'll have more energy naturally by increasing your sleep.
Parents, try to make sure your kids are in bed around the same time every night, and get about 8 to ten hours of sleep.