So last week I wrote about how more moms are relying on caffeinated beverages to get through their day. We had a chuckle at a quote from Sarah Kripal of Lincoln, Nebraska, who said she needs “about four energy drinks, three cups of coffee and a six-pack of soda every day.” Wow! That’s a lot of caffeine! (I think she must have been exaggerating.) The article quoted doctors as saying that consuming large amounts of caffeine might give you the shakes and keep you from getting a decent night’s sleep, but there are habits worse for your health, such as smoking.
But then, a couple of days later, I found this story online. Apparently poison control in Boston has seen a huge spike in reports of teens with caffeine poisoning. Seems kids are already loading up on energy drinks, coffee and soda. But on top of that, it’s being added to gum, mints, candy bars and even lip balm.
Ew! Now I’m not going on an anti-caffeine crusade here. I like a shot in the arm from Dr. Pepper every other day or so, and Starbucks mochas are my treat of choice. But come on! Why do kids feel like they need so much extra energy? And why is caffeine so en vogue as a food additive? Is it a legal high? Are kids that overextended and worn out? I never drank coffee or Red Bull when I was in high school (I don’t think Red Bull even existed then) and I was an honors student who did a crapload of activities and pulled frequent late-nighters to keep up my GPA. I remember being tired, but not desperate for caffeinated gum.
So what gives? I’m willing to give harried moms a pass, but I’m confuzzled about the kids. Moms of teens, I’d love to know what you’re seeing, and what you’re telling your kids about caffeine consumption.