Kids and Coffee

Kids and Coffee

Society frowns upon giving a adolescents alcohol, but doesn’t seem to care when it comes to coffee. Sure alcohol is illegal while coffee isn’t, but nonetheless, coffee is still a drug. Children are already full of energy, what’s the need to stimulant them with more caffeine? 73% of children consume caffeine on a daily basis.  While most of this comes from soda, coffee is becoming more prevalent in children’s diets. A study published in the Journal of Human Lactation studied toddlers in Boston and found that by the time children reached the age of two, more than fifteen percent were consuming coffee. Of these children, fifteen percent were consuming a half cup each day.

Many have claimed that coffee interferes with children’s calcium absorption and therefore stunts growth. This has subsequently been found to not be true. Albeit, there are still some negative effects of drinking coffee at a young age. Coffee can cause insomnia. Children ages 5-12 need at least eleven hours of sleep per day while teens need nine. Caffeine can last in your system for up to eight hours negatively affecting quality of sleep and ability to fall to sleep. Coffee is very acidic which hurts tooth enamel and increases the chance for cavities. Children are also more prone to cavities than adults so this combination leads children who drink coffee to have more oral issues than adults. Coffee is a diuretic, which means it increases urine production. This causes an increased loss in calcium. Additionally, caffeine absorbs calcium from the body. For every 100 mg of caffeine ingested, 6 mg of calcium are lost. Children need calcium to create strong bones and develop properly. Lastly, caffeine is also a stimulant. This causes many children to be hyperactive and restless. This can become a negative in the classroom where children are required to sit still and concentrate.

While all these possible effects that can result from giving a child coffee seem very bad, this is no evidence to show that when kids reach adolescence drinking a cup of coffee will do any harm. Nevertheless, the cons outweigh the pros and it’s best to shy away from the drink similar to soda. Children already have enough natural energy and an extra jolt of caffeine is just excessive.


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