Sunday, January 02, 2011

Caffeine in children

Caffeine consumption in children is often blamed for sleep problems and bedwetting. Information on childhood caffeine consumption is limited, and many parents may not know the amount or effects of their child's caffeine consumption. In a study published in Pediatrics, researchers found that 75% of children surveyed consumed caffeine on a daily basis, and the more caffeine the children consumed, the less they slept.

Researchers surveyed the parents of over 200 children 5 to 12 years old during routine clinical visits. Some children as young as 5 years old were consuming the equivalent of a can of soda a day. The researchers also noticed that the older children between the ages of 8 and 12 years consumed an average of 109 mg a day, the equivalent of almost 3 12-ounce cans of soda.

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

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," the researchers assert.

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