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More than one in three teenagers in Australia drink at least two of these unhealthy drinks a day.

The Children’s Hospital at Westmead paediatric sleep expert Dr Chris Seton found in a survey that some kids are consuming the equivalent of 10 cups of instant coffee a day, reports News corp.

Researchers have found kids start consuming energy drinks around ten years of age and they have been linked to headaches, sleeping difficulties and heart palpitations and the US FDA is investigating 18 deaths linked to the drinks.

There were 300 calls relating to caffeinated energy drinks made to the NSW Poisons Information Centre between 2004 and 2010, 128 of which resulted in hospitalisation.

Dr Seton says he is being called in to advise schools on how to manage sleep deprivation problems in teens that he links to energy drinks and technology and he is backing a ban on sales to under 18s.

The Australian Dental Association and the Obesity Coalition and the CWA want energy drink sales to children banned, claiming they are as bad if not worse than soft drinks.

The Heart Foundation, Diabetes Australia and Cancer Council Australia want them taxed to discourage consumption.

Insomnia is one of the better known side effects of excess caffeine intake.

Others include increased anxiety, panic attacks, high blood pressure, bowel irritability and cardiac arrhythmia, according to WA Health’s deputy chief health officer Andy Robertson.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver calls for a global ban on the sale of the caffeine-laden drinks to under 16s claiming schoolkids are dangerously addicted to energy drinks, with some consuming more than two litres per day.

Last year a British teen, who suffered two miscarriages which she attributes to energy drinks, took to Facebook in a plea for others to not make the same mistakes she has. Read more – “Energy drinks caused my miscarriage”.

Related story – Is it time to restrict the sale of softdrinks to children?

Is it just a myth that coffee is bad for kids?

Do you allow your older children to consume energy drinks? Have you warned them of the dangers?

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  • I’d like to see these drinks banned full stop. There is really no reason for them to be on the shelves of supermarkets, etc. for any one to drink. Full of sugar as well as caffeine, they don’t do any one’s body any good.

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  • I’ve never let my kids have energy drinks when they were young. I still advise them not to drink them now they are adults. I had heart palpitations when I had a drink of an energy drink and it’s scary. Certainly want a child to suffer with this

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  • There is absolutely no way I would let my son have an energy drink.

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  • i wouldn’t let my kids drink these but you have to teach them about why they should be making better choices

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  • Seriously, what parent in their right mind would give or let their child have energy drinks? I know kids can go out and buy them on their own but these are school age kids and looking at the statistics you would think that there would have to have been some assistance from the parents at some stage because these kids are at school a good portion of their day and then they go home. Not only are the drinks highly caffinated, they also have huge amounts of guarana and other really bad chemicals. It’s bad enough that they are drinking soft drinks, let alone this! Yes, they should be banned, but even so if parents are allowing the consumption the kids will still be able to get them by getting an adult to purchase.

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  • I was apalled, mortified, shocked at these statistics. We talk about Energy drings often. We do not drink them, and personally I have never tried one. I am often shocked at the kids I see walking into the supermarket to purchase these drinks. We’re always talking to our son about the impact these drinks can have on your body, particularly if you have underlying heart conditions etc. Most concerning too is the trend to mix these with alcohol eg. vodka etc. I think definitely banning these for Under 16s, but also discouraging their sale. The amount of adults I see walking around drinking these early in the morning in front of their kids — well, what kind of example is that?

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  • I don’t like energy drinks full stop.

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  • I can’t believe that such young children drink this stuff, don’t parents know it is laden with caffeine and sugars, plus all the other stuff. And kids shouldn’t be able to buy it, so if that is where part of the problem lays, a ban on selling to under 18’s should be put into place.

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  • I don’t see why kids should be having these types of drinks.

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  • There are so many market foods for children, both young and old to consume for energy. Adults in our household have tried energy drinks on very long road trips and they have been sipped.

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  • No, no energy drinks, soft drinks or juice at our home. I just give mostly water or sometimes milk to our kids

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  • No have never, would never. I watched a friend years ago giving her 4 year old an energy drink and I was horrified, the kid always ended up moody and in tears afterwards. My teenager is one of the ones who never drinks any soft or energy drinks. He never tasted coke until he was 11 and has not had it since. He is totally aware of how unhealthy they all are.

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  • I just don’t understand why anyone would be giving these drinks to kids anyway. I guess there really is a need to educate parents aboyut appropriate foods and beverages for kids.

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  • I have never allowed my children any type of energy drink. I also don’t allow them coffee, tea or cola. They can have soft drink at a party etc but otherwise it’s water all the way.

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  • They should absolutely be banned. They shouldn’t be available for adults let alone kids!

    Reply

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