According to Bloomberg, a study presented at the American Heart Association's annual meeting shows that more than half of calls to U.S. poison control centers about energy drinks are for children younger than 6, some suffering seizures and heart problems.
The researchers analyzed all 5,156 calls to poison control centers from October 2010 to September 2013 involving energy drinks. Most of the calls for children younger than 6 were because they got the beverages accidentally. Almost a third had serious symptoms requiring treatment, including tremors or seizures, nausea and vomiting, or chest pain and erratic heart rhythms.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began an investigation into caffeinated energy drinks in 2012 after reports of increasing emergency room visits tied to the beverages. The American Medical Association has called for limiting sales for people under age 18.
The American Beverage Association (ABA) issued the following statement in response: "This abstract has not been published and therefore the authors' full methodology and analysis is not available for review. In the past, various experts have raised concerns regarding misinterpretation and inherent limitations of data from National Poison Data System when it comes to energy drinks. Based on the most recent government data reported in the journal Pediatrics, children under 12 have virtually no caffeine consumption from energy drinks. Even so, leading energy drink makers voluntarily place advisory statements on energy drink packaging stating that energy drinks are not recommended for children. They also have voluntarily pledged not to market these products to children or sell them in K-12 schools."