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Why do we give children coffee when it’s not appropriate to do so?

Nowadays, coffee is a staple in our daily lives. Still, what’s the harm in drinking coffee if it’s been shown to lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, dementia, and several cancers?

Even kids have picked up on it.

Parents are letting their young children, even toddlers, consume coffee, soda, and other caffeinated beverages despite years of warnings from doctors and other health professionals about the dangers of these products.

In 2015, researchers in Boston polled mothers and discovered that 14% of them let their toddlers consume between 1 and 4 ounces of coffee per day (a half cup of coffee equals 4 ounces). 2.5% of mothers reported giving their infants coffee, according to the survey.

Adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 should limit their intake to less than 100 mg per day, which is roughly the size of a traditional cup of coffee, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The popular Blonde Roast comes in at 360 milligrams per 16-ounce “grande” at Starbucks, while the Pike Place Roast comes in at 310 milligrams for the same size.

You can’t blame the coffee. An examination by Consumer Reports found that, depending on the brand, a single bottle of sports drink might contain as much as 250 mg of caffeine. There can be up to 47 milligrams in a cup of tea, and just 46 milligrams in a can of diet soda.

Caffeine can also be found in chocolate, with the amount increasing with increasing cocoa mass. The USDA estimates that a handful of chocolate-covered coffee beans has 336 mg of caffeine.

Coffee ice cream, mints, gummy bears, energy bars, and chewing gum all contain caffeine.

What is the minimum age for coffee consumption?

Caffeine has a greater relative effect on youngsters because of their smaller body size. What seems like a trivial quantity to an adult may be overpowering to a young child. Children who consume large amounts of caffeine may experience elevated heart rates and blood pressure, stomach acid reflux, anxiety, and sleep disruptions. Caffeine can be fatal if consumed in large quantities.

Children with “tachycardia,” or abnormally fast heart rates, are a common reason for visits to the emergency room, according to physician Dr. Mark Corkins. Some individuals even consider it hip to give kids as young as toddlers drinks.

Children can tolerate more caffeine as they reach puberty because their larger bodies break down the drug more quickly. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, however, this sensitivity may be exacerbated in children who are very small for their age or who suffer from migraines, heart issues, or seizures.

Given the known risks, why do some parents still let their children drink coffee?

Children start asking for coffee and other caffeinated beverages “because they see the parents and older siblings drinking it — it’s a ‘grown-up thing to drink,'” wrote Dr. David Corkins, chief of the pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition division at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.

Corkins claims that parents will give their children a sip or two because they consider it safe, and it probably is in such small doses. “However, once the parents begin drinking, it becomes a slippery slope and it is simpler to let the children drink whatever they desire than to engage in conflict with them.”

Nutritional value can be altered by coffee garnishes and add-ins.

The effect of caffeinated beverages, sugary drinks, and energy drinks on a healthy diet is another concern.

“A second issue I have with children consuming coffee is that it has little nutritional value and replaces beverages like milk and water, which should be nutritionally complete,” Corkins remarked. Water is a nutrition, and milk is a good source of calcium and vitamin D. We’re an ocean since we’re made up of 60 percent water.

Finally, there are the extras. Traditional coffee service no longer includes a sugar cube and a dollop of cream. Nearly everywhere you go, you can get a cup of coffee and a dozen different ways to customize it.

What Corkins meant was that the drinks were sweet enough to serve as dessert. The foam, flavored syrup shots, whipped cream, and sprinkles are all there. I’ve seen desserts with worse presentation than that.

In addition to the calorie and fat load added by extra sugars and creams, children may be exposed to artificial sweeteners in sugar-free alternatives.

In other words, what’s the deal? Put down the coffee! Why do your children require this? Corkins declared.

Caffeine is a wakefulness-inducing drug. Working with a pediatrician to determine the source of your child’s exhaustion is preferable to giving him or her coffee to get through the day.

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