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Energy drinks a no for kids

Kids and teens should not drink sports or energy drinks, the Canadian Paediatric Society says in a new position released Tuesday that takes a stand against the sugary beverages.

Dr. Catherine Pound, co-author of the statement and a pediatrician at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, says caffeinated energy drinks in particular can pose serious health risks and are unnecessary for most young people.

"I wouldn't recommend them for anybody that fits our target population, which is anyone between the ages of zero and 18," said Pound, noting that one can of energy drink contains more caffeine than regular coffee.

Too much can be deadly, as apparently was the case of a South Carolina teen who collapsed April 26 after downing an energy drink, a large pop and a cafe latte within a two-hour span. Davis Cripe had no pre-existing heart condition but likely died from a caffeine-induced heart arrhythmia, said the local coroner.

"A lot of people believe they're essential as part of rehydration for sports. But what we're finding is actually they're not — water is ideal for rehydration in sport," said Pound, adding that doctors should routinely screen for their use.

"Only in the very specific subset of the population will they be useful and that's the population of children that will perform very vigorous activity for over an hour or in very hot and humid weather."



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