eli5 Why are kids not supposed to consume caffeine?

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I’ve been consuming caffeine daily since I was 5 but I never had any bad experience with it. I turned out to be fine. I discovered a few days ago that Caffeine is considered to be bad for children and Honestly I was surprised. Does the negative effects of caffeine like anxiety and sleep disturbance not apply to adults? Do people turn 18 and suddenly caffeine becomes healthy for them?

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4 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

One of the issues is that caffeine is processed by the liver, which doesn’t become fully functioning until a certain age (usually less than 1 year old, but still relevant some times). Another issue is that caffeine inhibits behavior that is important for child growth; size growth is most efficient when sleeping regularly, for instance.

It’s also a psychoactive drug (probably the most widely consumed one even), so some of the statement could be simply based on the idea that individuals still developing their personality shouldn’t have it frequently altered by a substance. Similarly, alcohol is bad for adults as well as children, but the laws only forbids it for children. It’s less “you’re old enough, this won’t hurt you” and more “you’re old enough, you can decide to hurt yourself now”.

Anonymous 0 Comments

A child’s brain’s plasticity is much higher than an adult’s and while caffeine is a mild drug, it’s a drug nonetheless, so it is advised to keep it away from children, even though the risks might be low.

Some of the effects of caffeine on adults are neither “healthy” nor unhealthy. What one might call anxiety, someone else might call “focus”. One’s sleep disturbance is someone else’s need to work while sleepy.

Also, your example is a sample size of one AND it’s a self-observed outcome with no peer review.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Caffeine is a drug with side affects regardless of your age. It just happens that most parents don’t want to have to deal with these side effects in their children. Simple as that. It’s also addictive and maybe not a great idea to get your kids hooked on any drugs regardless of how benign they seem.

I’ve personally quit my caffeine addiction as a teenager which was a rough time. Caffeine was something I needed to feel normal. It didn’t energize me, it kept me from feeling abnormally tired when I should have already felt awake. I basically needed it to function. Took me a little over a week of awful headaches and feeling tired and drained without being able to fall asleep to end the dependency.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Dosage is very important in all things, i let my 9Yo get a “russian coffee” (hot milk with some coffee) and my 15Yo can have a couple of light beers with her friends while home.

Just not everyday not even every week. Keep it special