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Energy Drinks and AlcoPops

Poison Control Urges Parents to Be Aware

When I was a Team Lead, several members of my team required several Energy drinks to get their day started and even more to keep it going. I didn’t pretend to understand; after all, they were 15 years younger than me, and I was doing all I could to keep my eyelids open past 9 pm. My children have never really taken to energy drinks, and after reading this article, I’m so glad.

Many parents believe that if it is on the shelf, it’s okay for anyone to consume. That simply is not the case. In fact, two states right now are looking to ban the popular alcopops from their shelves. CBS reports New York City has begun the battle, while MainLine Institute says California is seeking to have the drinks prohibited as well.

Dr. Cyrus Rangan, a Medical Toxicologist and Assistant Medical Director at the California Poison Control System, warns parents that caffeinated energy drinks should not be given to children and teens.  While caffeine is a legal stimulant, many of these beverages contain more and more caffeine (and pro suas guarana, which is a caffeine relative), and the bottom line is that there are NO studies whatsoever to determine the safety of these products in children.

There’s also a buzz about Alcopops. They’re sweet with fruity flavors like “Razzberry” and “Pomegranate Twist.” These are favorites among young teens and middle schoolers. They look like their non-alcoholic counterparts, but they are really flavored malt beverages.

Alcopops have roughly the same amount of alcohol as beer, but their high sugar and–in some cases–caffeine content does a great job of masking the flavor and the effect. Teen girls report drinking more alcohol more often than their male peers. The American Medical Association (AMA) points to the popularity of Alcopops or ‘girlie drinks’ as a significant factor behind the shift.

You can learn more about a variety of poison issues by following CPCSon Twitter @poisoninfo.  Sign up for weekly safety text messages to your cell phone by texting TIPS to 69866, and download a free iPhone app, Choose Your Poison, at  CPCS is dedicated to providing residents with the most up-to-date information and 24-hour help in case of poisoning. In case of accidental poisoning, consumers should immediately call 1-800-222-1222 for advice. Pharmacists, nurses, physician-toxicologists, and poison information providers are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help.

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