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Kids and Caffeine

October 31, 2006

Could kids suffer from caffeine withdrawal, just like adults?


Kids on caffeine. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Since kids drink so many caffeine-infused drinks these days, a listener from Silver Spring, Maryland, asked us whether kids might go through caffeine withdrawal like adults do. We turned to American University psychologist Laura Juliano, who is in fact planning a study of this very question. She says there’s not enough research yet to say exactly how kids respond to going off caffeine…

LAURA JULIANO (American University):
Although my opinion is that if children are using caffeine on a regular basis, we should be very vigilant to the possibility that they could feel sick or experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms such as headache, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and even flulike symptoms and poor mood if they go a day without caffeine.

If a science question’s got you grumpy, call us at 1-800-why isit. If we use it on air, you’ll win a Science Update mug. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.