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No. Caffeine has plenty of undesirable effects, but interfering with a child's growth isn't one of them.
As any adult who relies on a morning cup of coffee or tea can tell you, caffeine is a stimulant. It might make a child irritable, upset her tummy, make her heart beat faster, raise her blood pressure, and disrupt her sleep, but it won't keep her from growing.
Though inadequate nutrition can slow a child's growth. And caffeinated beverages, such as soda, are mostly empty calories, contributing no nutrition while filling her up. That's another good reason to keep your child's caffeine (and sugar) intake to a minimum!
Check the label before giving your child anything with caffeine. You just might be surprised to discover how much is in there. For example:
- Caffeinated soft drinks (12 ounces): 22 to 69 milligrams (mg)
- Energy drinks (8 ounces): 76 to 280 mg
- Iced tea (12 ounces): 27 to 42 mg
- Milk chocolate (2 ounces): 12 mg
- Dark chocolate (2 ounces): 40 mg
- Chocolate milk (8 ounces): 5 mg
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends restricting children's daily caffeine intake to less than:
- 45 mg for kids age 4 to 6
- 62.5 mg for kids age 7 to 9
- 85 mg for kids age 10 to 12