Children most at risk appear to be those who regularly consume the increasingly popular caffeine-laden energy drinks or gulp down a relatively large amount of the liquid in a short span, according to Rutgers University’s poison control experts.
“These drinks are made for adults. When young children drink them, they consume a large quantity of caffeine for their body mass.
"At the minimum, they become wired – just as an adult would – and it might be difficult for parents to console them or calm them down,” says Bruce Ruck, director of drug information and professional education for the New Jersey Poison Information & Education System (NJPIES) at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark.
“Children also might have trouble falling asleep or experience tremors, anxiety, agitation, heart palpitations, nausea or vomiting. Of more concern, they may experience a rapid heart rate or seizures.
“Parents need to be aware of the risks and treat these drinks as they would a medication. Store them on a high shelf, away from view. If they have teenagers, they should monitor their exposure,” Ruck adds.