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Did energy drinks cause serious harm to your teenager?

Consumer Affairs reported on a study out of Madrid, Spain that concludes "energy drinks are the cause of many sudden cardiac deaths in young, healthy individuals." In 2012, the FDA investigated five deaths in people who drank high-caffeine energy drinks. About one-third of all teenagers regularly consume energy drinks, but almost half of the caffeine overdoses in the United States occurred in teenagers. The U.S. Drug Abuse Warning Network is also concerned about the energy-drink usage of teens as the drinks have caused many teenagers to be admitted to the emergency room.

Energy drinks are not regulated like food. The emerging science should give people pause before overusing these drinks. There are high amounts of caffeine and sugar in the drinks, which can lead to dangerous arrhythmias in the hearts of young people who drink them. Many times, the ingredient list masks other components that also have caffeine concentrations. Remember that energy drinks are not sport drinks.

Keep your teen from overindulging

Parents should recognize that teenagers need to learn to moderate their intake of these drinks.

  • The Spanish researchers found that one can (250 mL or 8 oz.) of an energy drink is safe for most teenagers (Please note that some cans of drinks are 16 or 24 ounces)
  • Do not use energy drinks before or after sports practices
  • If a teenager has an underlying medical condition, consult a cardiologist before consuming energy drinks
  • Do not use energy drinks with alcohol or other drugs
  • Younger children should not use energy drinks

If your teenager has experienced medical problems

If your child became ill after drinking an energy drink or, even worse, died, you might be considering a lawsuit against the manufacturer. In a personal injury lawsuit, you must show there was negligence and damages. The law is complex, and it takes an experienced attorney to prove the manufacturer was at fault.

In North Carolina, there is a doctrine called contributory negligence, which means that you have to prove negligence and show that you yourself were not negligent. It can be a daunting process, but if your child was injured and has medical bills, you should consult with someone who knows the ins and outs of the law. Personal injury claims often come down to the investigation and documentation following the injury. Take the time to learn your rights and responsibilities to know if you should consult with an attorney and to understand whether you have a solid case on your hands.

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