Caffeine and Kids: Bad Combination?

Caffeine may keep kids up a night, a new study shows iStockphoto.com

Caffeine and Kids: A Bad Combination?
Soda may keep kids up a night, a new study shows (iStockphoto.com)


(CBS) Grown-ups aren't the only ones with a caffeine habit.

About 75 percent of children between the ages of five and 12 consume caffeine daily, a new study shows. In fact, older children in the study drank the equivalent of three 12-ounce cans of soda a day.

Most kids get their daily jolt from soda. "You don't see kids walking down the street with a latte," study author Dr. William Warzak, a professor of psychology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, told CBS News.

Is all that caffeine bad for kids?

Well, it might be keeping them up at night. Older children, who drank more caffeine, slept less than younger ones who drank less, the study showed. But older kids generally sleep less, so that finding may not mean much, Warzak said.

The study, published Dec. 17 online in the "Journal of Pediatrics," also looked at caffeine's affect on bedwetting. Warzak said his team expected bedwetting to be more common kids who consumed more caffeine, but that didn't prove to be true.

Warzak says more research needs to be done. For now, he says that if children have sleep problems or wet the bed, their parents should look at how much caffeine they are consuming.

"Kids don't need to drink caffeine since there are unknown effects in children," he said. "They're not any the worse for wear by not drinking caffeine."

What do you think? Should parents try to get kids to cut back on soda?

Gulp.

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