Staff at St Michael’s Youth Project in Hull introduced a ban on soft drinks containing caffeine amid concerns about children’s health.
Now other youth settings are being advised to consider a similar ban if the consumption of energy drinks is proving to be an issue among young people using their services. Hope UK told CYP Now that it does not advocate children consuming energy drinks.
“Energy drinks allow people to function beyond their normal limits and can lead to mental and physical exhaustion. That is why we don’t think they are a good idea for children,” Marolin Watson, spokeswoman for the charity said.
“If people in youth clubs find this is a problem, then banning it from the premises is a fair response.”
Jo Lorenze, a youth worker at St Michael’s Youth Project in Hull, said staff are working alongside young people to teach them about the effects of caffeine on their body.
“We are trying to encourage young people not to drink it,” she said. “A lot of them don’t realise there is caffeine in it. They drink it because they like the taste. We’ve noticed a change in behaviour since the change.”
Energy drinks featuring large quantities of caffeine have become popular in recent years. However research has found that over consumption of caffeine can lead to side effects including nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, stomach upset, tremors, rapid heartbeats, restlessness and pacing and - in very rare cases - death.