Are your teens drinking too much caffeine?

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Are your teenagers drinking too much caffeine?

A 16-year-old in South Carolina drank a fatal dose last month.

The normally healthy teen, Davis Cripe, collapsed in the middle of his classroom after he finished drinking a McDonald’s Latte, diet Mountain Dew, and some kind of energy drink in about two hours.

All that caffeine put a severe strain on his heart.

The Mayo Clinic says up to 400 mg of caffeine a day should be safe for healthy adults. That's about four cups of coffee or two energy drinks. 

But for children and teens, that same amount can have deadly consequences. 

Dr. Div Verma, a Banner Health Cardiologist, says heart palpitations, sweating, and fainting are all symptoms of a caffeine overdose that need to be seen by a doctor immediately.

"Unfortunately caffeine overdose and symptoms from that are fairly common in America, so we've all seen patients visiting the E.R. after an overdose or a heavy dose of caffeine or other stimulants," said Dr. Verma.

He says they get more of these cases around the end of the school year, when students are using more caffeine after losing sleep studying for exams.

"The best advice for parents is to keep your kids away, don't share your drinks with kids, don't let them start early," said Dr. Verma. "And when they're more mature, they're more in control and they understand the consequences of things, that probably is the best time to make their own decision and maybe consume caffeine in moderation at that time." 

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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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