Consumption of coffee in children

“Caffeine is a psychoactive substance. Large amount of caffeine intake can be toxic to young children”

Coffee is the second highest widely consumed beverage around the world after water. Coffee is the roasted beans of a coffee plant. It originated in Ethiopia but now it is grown worldwide. Consumption of coffee or tea in the morning acts as a stimulant, it wakes you up. It is a good stimulant and enhances physical activity, giving a sense of alertness.

Food that contains caffeine

The sources of caffeine that children consume have changed in the past few years. Energy drinks and soda drinks contain large amounts of caffeine. Coffee based drinks are highly popular amongst teenagers and adolescents. A child is recommended to consume not more than 2.5 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight. For Ex – if the child is 12 years old and is weighing 45 kilos, then he should take not more than 113 mg of caffeine per day.

Tea, hot chocolates, Chocolates, flavored juices, energy bars, candies, coffee flavored ice cream etc contain high amounts of caffeine.

Effects 

Increased heart rate and blood pressure.

Diarrhea and nausea.

Anxiety and heartburn

Caffeine can be very noxious in high doses. Many cases of death have been reported due to high doses of caffeine.

Does Coffee cause addiction?

Many people develop an addiction to regular use of caffeine. Some of them even experience withdrawal symptoms when they reduce or stop intake of caffeine. People who don’t feel any withdrawal symptoms, they experience headaches, irritability and lethargy. Stimulants such as amphetamines or cocaine too stimulate some areas of the brain as that of coffee.

If a pregnant woman consumes caffeinated products in excess amounts, this can lead to changes in brain pathways in the fetus. Studies have shown that changes do occur in the brain structure of children who had exposure to caffeine in the uterus. There are slight behavioral issues found in these children like hyperactive, attention deficit. For pregnant women, it is recommended not to have more than two cups of coffee every day. A healthy sleep is very important for the healthy development of the brain. Excess intake of caffeine may affect brain development in children and adolescents. Caffeine also reduces or disturbs sleep cycle in adolescent boys.

Symptoms of caffeine overdose include shakiness, abdominal pain, rapid breathing, and fast heart rate. Before buying any product first look at the label of the product and check the level or amount of caffeine it has. For any emergencies, you can consult Pediatrician and other health professionals for their interventions and guidance.

Tags : #MyHealth #Caffeineandaddiction #goodstimulant #Medicircle #SmitaKumar

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