Quick Facts about caffeine:
Are you looking for the answer to “my child drank caffeine” or “how much caffeine is too much”? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Caffeine is found in a variety of beverages, foods, and medications. Many adults drink coffee, tea, or soft drinks to start their day and increase mental alertness. Shift workers and students cramming for exams who want to stay awake late into the night tend to go for energy drinks which contain larger amounts of caffeine than coffee and tea. Athletes use caffeine to enhance athletic performance.
Caffeine is also present in prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. It can help with conditions such as asthma, low blood pressure, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. It can also decrease pain after surgery. OTC headache medications, such as Excedrin®, include caffeine to help relieve the headache by reducing blood flow and increasing the absorption of acetaminophen.
The poison center receives calls about caffeine use in all age groups. Teens and adults may misuse caffeinated products, sometimes for extended periods of time, to stay awake or make up for lost energy. In general, caffeine is safe for most adults – experts usually recommend that caffeine intake should stay under 400 mg per day. Children are much more susceptible to the side effects of caffeine due to their smaller body size. In this age group, most calls involve children being found with an opened or spilled container of a beverage, and it is often unclear how much of the product has been ingested.
If you find your child has gotten into a caffeinated drink or medication, it is important to take this situation seriously. Take the product away from the child, and give them some water to drink. Call the Missouri Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 right away to discuss the details with a poison expert.
Most caffeine ingestions are able to be handled in the home, but every situation is different and requires individual attention. The poison center is open all day, every day for poisoning emergencies & questions.
|Coffee||12 to 36 mg/fl. oz.|
|Soft Drinks, Soda, Pop||Variable, generally 34-54 mg per 12 oz. can|
|Tea||5-18 mg/fl. oz.|
|Chocolate||Caffeine 5-35 mg/oz.|
|Coffee Beans||10 mg/bean (1-2% caffeine)|
|Caffeinated Gum||20-100 mg/piece|
|Energy Drinks & Shots||*Varies based on brand/type*|
Red Bull: 114 mg in 12 oz. container
5 Hour Energy: 210 mg in 2 oz. container