So many us can’t live without our regular cup of coffee in the morning. Maybe you’re more of a tea person when you come home from work, or one of those who enjoys a diet soda or two throughout the day. Whatever your drink of choice is, a lot of us are pretty dependent on caffeine. As adults, it’s a bit easier to manage our caffeine intake, but for kids...too much caffeine and sugar can be downright deadly.
Such was the tragic case for 16-year-old Davis Allen Cripe. The South Carolina teen apparently had downed coffee, soda, and an energy drink within two hours, which ended up causing him his life. The boy collapsed in the middle of class after drinking the caffeine and sugar-filled beverages, which caused a heart arrhythmia.
“On this particular day within the two hours prior to his death, we know had consumed a large diet Mountain Dew, a cafe latte from McDonald's and also some type of energy drink. We lost Davis from a totally legal substance. These drinks can be very dangerous." Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said in a press conference regarding the incident. The teen had no evidence of an undiagnosed heart condition, so it was pretty clear that the combination of the sugary drinks were the cause of his untimely death.
400 mg is the recommended daily dose of caffeine for an individual, and caffeine overdoses are not uncommon. Dizziness and increased thirst are symptoms of a caffeine overdose. Energy drinks have been reported to cause dangerous changes in heart function and blood pressure.
Davis was an otherwise healthy teen, but after consuming a large Mountain Dew, a cafe latte from McDonald’s, and an energy drink, his heart was unable to handle it all.
While Davis’ story is a tragic one, his family is now sharing the details of his death, so that they can hopefully prevent anything like this from ever happening to someone else.
Davis’ father Sean spoke at the press conference, and urged parents to be aware of the drinks their children are consuming, and how truly dangerous caffeine and energy drinks can be for young people.
"Like all parents, we worry about our kids as they grow up. We worry about their safety, their health, especially once they start driving. It wasn't a car crash that took his life. Instead, it was an energy drink. Parents, please talk to your kids about these energy drinks. And teenagers and students, please stop buying them."
Sadly, stories like Davis’ are not that uncommon, because caffeine and energy drinks are completely legal and able to purchase at so many stores. Hopefully, if parents and children become more aware of the risks associated with such drinks, deaths like Davis’ can be prevented.
It is heartbreaking to know that Davis lost his life at such a young age, but hopefully his father’s message hits home for many households, and his death will prevent any other teens from losing their lives so young.
What do you think of this story? Did you know that caffeine and energy drinks could be this dangerous?