As the summer heats up, many children and teens are reaching more and more for those colorful energy drinks to quench their thirsts. But health professionals say those drinks are not the best option for developing young bodies. Dr. Elizabeth Mack is a pediatric critical care intensivist at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital in Columbia. Dr. Mack says sports drinks are largely unregulated by the FDA and it’s hard tell how much caffeine is in those drinks, although they do contain much more than a cup of coffee or soft drinks and those levels can be harmful for youngsters.
Dr. Mack says the ingestion of caffeine coupled with the summer heat and activity can lead to rapid dehydration and that can be very dangerous especially for young children. She says it’s important for adults to monitor children’s outdoor activity in the summer heat. She adds that young children should not be exposed to prolonged activity in the heat or even exposure to the heat because it could lead to deadly complications.