American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Kids and Caffeine: What are the Risks?

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Beverages at many coffee shops might look like desserts to kids, but they still contain caffeine just like a regular cup of coffee. 

Parents often forget that caffeine is a drug, and children who drink three to four caffeinated beverages in a day will experience some form of withdrawal, such as headaches and fatigue, if they haven't had their "daily fix."

“Children are choosing soda instead of water, juice and milk, even though the latter are essential elements of their diets,” says Stanley Grogg, DO, an osteopathic pediatrician in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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Caffeine Risks

Even in moderate doses, caffeine can cause health issues, such as:

  • Insomnia.

  • Fatigue.

  • Headaches and muscle aches.

  • Dizziness.

  • Dehydration.

Monitoring Caffeine Intake

Only parents can determine how much caffeine is too much for their children, but Dr. Grogg advises parents to frequently educate themselves on the caffeine content of their children’s preferred beverages.

To keep your children happy and help prevent caffeine addiction, Dr. Grogg suggests the following tips:

  • Watch your children’s caffeine intake and discourage them from drinking more than one soda a day or super-sizing their drink.

  • Give your children an appealing alternative, such as juice or flavored water.

  • Don’t substitute diet soda for regular. Diet soda may have less sugar, but it actually contains more caffeine.

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DOs, look beyond your symptoms to understand how lifestyle and environmental factors affect your wellbeing. They listen and partner with you to help you get healthy and stay well.


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