COLUMBIA, S.C. (WWJ/AP) – A coroner says a healthy 16-year-old South Carolina high school student died from heart problems after drinking too much caffeine.
Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said Monday that Davis Cripe had no pre-existing heart condition that might have caused him to collapse and die in a classroom last month.
Watts says Cripe drank a large Mountain Dew, a latte from McDonald’s and an energy drink in the two hours before his heart fell out of rhythm at Spring Hill High School near Chapin on April 26.
He urged parents to keep in mind that while a soda or a cup of coffee is fine for teens, large amounts of caffeine can be deadly.
So, exactly how much is OK?
According to a recent report by the Mayo Clinic, up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That’s roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two energy drinks. The clinic says, because amounts of caffeine in drinks can vary greatly, it’s important to check the label.
Adolescents should limit caffeine consumption and children shouldn’t drink it at all. For anyone, caffeine can cause side effects including migraine headaches, insomnia, nervousness, irritability, restlessness, frequent urination or inability to control urination, stomach upset, fast heartbeat and muscle tremors. [Read more from the Mayo Clinic here].
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