The buzz: Energy drinks not for kids, doctors say

As a new school year begins, health experts at the University of Utah warned parents Tuesday to keep energy drinks out of their kids’ backpacks.

“How much should the pediatric population drink? None,” said Howard Kadish, chief of pediatric emergency medicine at the U.

Caffeine-charged drinks such as Red Bull, Rockstar, Full Throttle and Who’s Your Daddy have flooded convenience and grocery stores in recent years. The beverages may contain the equivalent of two or three cups of coffee. Among teenagers, they’ve become go-to drinks for parties and late-night studying.

Young people are especially vulnerable to the harmful side effects of caffeine, said Barbara Crouch, a pharmacologist and director of the Utah Poison Control Center. Those who guzzle energy drinks can experience anxiety, heart palpitations, restlessness, sleeplessness, nausea, vomiting and — in extreme cases — heart arrhythmias and seizures.

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