Coroner: Caffeine caused death of South Carolina teenager - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Coroner: Caffeine caused death of South Carolina teenager

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Caffeine is a staple in many people's diets.  From an extra kick in the morning to powering through late nights, the stimulant is loved by adults and kids, alike.

Unfortunately, though, it is what a South Carolina coroner says killed 16 year-old Davis Allen Cripe last month.

According to the coroner, Cripe did not have any underlying health conditions.  Instead, it is believed he drank too much caffeine too quickly. 

"Unfortunately, it is a wake up call for people," said pediatrician Dr. John Cox.

According to the coroner, Cripe drank a cafe latte, a large diet Mountain Dew and an energy drink within a two hour period prior to collapsing at his school.  In total, the drinks contained about 350mg of caffeine.

According to the Academy of Pediatrics, children under the age of 12 should completely avoid caffeine.  Kids between the ages of 12 and 18 should limit their intake to 100mg a day.

"Anywhere between 250mg to 500mg in a day and the dose could cause some of these side effects," said Dr. Cox. "Jittery, nervous, increased heart rate.  These are some signs that maybe you are getting a little bit too much caffeine."

Pediatrician Dr. John Cox says adults must educate children about the dangers of caffeine.  He recommends keeping the drinks out of the house and monitoring how much kids are getting.

"Everything in pediatrics is preparation.  So, if you are starting early, by the time they hit 15, 16, 17, hopefully they are already aware of this and once they get older just let them know to look for the signs and symptoms of a little too much," said Dr. Cox.

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