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Wrongful death lawsuit filed after girl dies from energy drinks

Most readers in Houston probably remember the craze a few years ago over energy drinks that were being marketed to adults because they also contained alcohol. The high amounts of caffeine and alcohol proved to be a dangerous combination for many people who imbibed too much.

But a recent wrongful death lawsuit filed in another state should be a reminder to parents that most experts view giving any energy drinks to children as unnecessary and even dangerous in many cases.

  - Article By Richard Weaver

The lawsuit was filed late last month by the parents of the girl, who died last year after drinking 48 ounces of the energy drink Monster. The company has said that it does not know of its products killing anyone, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now investigating the effects of energy drinks on children.

A professor at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston warned that it's not just caffeine, but a host of other chemicals, such as guarana, taurine and ginseng among others, that once combined can speed up a child's heart rate and increase their blood pressure.

In addition, though, the doctor said, some studies have shown that those same chemicals can slow the flow of blood through the arteries, which weakens the heart.

Another doctor noted that "there is no safe dose" of energy drinks that children should consumer, noting that there are zero benefits. Contrary to popular belief, it does not make children perform better at sports. Both the doctors in this story have called for the FDA to regulate energy drinks the same way that soda and other caffeinated products are.

With slick marketing, it's no surprise parents and kids alike may not think that the drinks could have toxic effects on kids. But the risk is there.

Source: MyHealthNewsDaily, "Energy Drinks And Kids: How They May Affect Children's Hearts," Karen Rowan, Oct. 24, 2012

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