November 20, 2014
Attn: Parents. You MUST read this article about energy drinks from the American Heart Assoc.
Poison control data show energy drinks and young kids don’t mix
More than 40 percent of 5,156 calls about energy drinks to U.S. poison control centers involved children younger than 6 with some suffering serious cardiac and neurological symptoms, according to a new study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014. This disproportionate representation of children is concerning given the number of reports of serious cardiac and neurological symptoms, said Steven Lipshultz, M.D., the study’s senior author and professor and chair of pediatrics at Wayne State University and pediatrician-in-chief at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit. Researchers analyzed October 2010-September 2013 records of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System, which contains information calls about energy exposures from the public and healthcare providers to 55 poison control centers in the United States. “Exposures” are defined as actual or suspected contact with any substance which has been ingested, inhaled, absorbed, applied to, or injected into the body, regardless of toxicity or clinical manifestation. Researchers found:
- Of the 5,156 reported cases of energy drink exposure, 40 percent were unintentional, (i.e. unforeseen or unplanned) exposures by young children.
- Moderate to major outcomes were reported in 42 percent of cases involving energy drinks that had been mixed with ethanol (alcohol) and in 19 percent of non-alcohol-containing energy drinks.
- Among cases across all age groups with major outcomes, cardiovascular effects (including an abnormal heart rhythm and conduction abnormalities) were reported in 57 percent of cases, and neurologic effects (seizures, including status epilepticus) in 55 percent.