Kids and caffeine - How much is too much?

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PHOENIX -- It seems like caffeine is everywhere these days and while many adults can't get through their days without it, too much is not good, especially for kids.

Dr. Art Mollen went through some of the basics with Kaley O'Kelley.

"Caffeine comes in a lot of different ways and children are consuming these products on a regular basis," Mollen explained.

Of course, there's caffeine in soda and coffee drinks, but it's also in many teas, as well as chocolate. It's also generally an ingredient in many popular energy drinks.

Side effects of too much caffeine include muscle tremors, nausea, irritability, headaches, increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, anxiety, difficulty sleeping and inattentiveness.

Even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has no official recommendations regarding caffeine intake, conventional wisdom from most doctors says you should keep your child's consumption of caffeine to a minimum.

Canadian guidelines recommend no more than 2.5 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight for children 12 and younger.

For kids between 4 and 6 years old, that's about 45 mg/day or one can of soda. For kids 7 to 9, it's about 62.5 mg/day or about 1.5 cans of soda. For kids 10 to 12, it works out to about 85 mg/day or a little less than 2 cans of soda.

For older kids and adults, the recommendation is no more than 400/mg per day.

Dr. Mollen's Practice is located at 16100 N. 71st Street,Scottsdale. Fore more information call 480-656-0016 or log onto www.drartmollen.com.