If parents in Prince Edward Island get what they want, there may be two legal drinking ages in the province’one for alcohol, and one for energy drinks, according to a report by CBC News.
That’s right, Timmy. No Red Bull for you until you’re old enough to vote.
Already one of few provinces in Canada to ban energy drinks in schools, concerned parent groups across the country want to extend the ban to stores, making it illegal to sell the caffeinated beverages to children under the age of 18. But why go to so much trouble to keep kids away from energy drinks? They’re harmless’right?
Not so, according to Dr. Billy Scantlebury, former head of the P.E.I. Medical Society, who has been working with P.E.I home and school associations on the issue. "People can get palpitations, and if their heart goes into an abnormal rhythm people can actually die from that," Scantlebury told the CBC.
Even with the risks associated with energy drinks’the president of the P.E.I. association went so far as to suggest that kids have been misdiagnosed with ADHD when they’re really just over-caffeinated’I’m not sure that flat-out banning the drinks is the best course of action. Let’s be honest’kids aren’t legally permitted to consume alcohol under a certain age, but it doesn’t stop them from getting their hands on it and ending up in a hospital emergency room with alcohol poisoning. Making something "forbidden" to kids makes it that much more appealing, doesn’t it?
According to CBC, provincial officials are waiting for Health Canada to make the first move in the energy drink debate. In the meantime, perhaps the best course of action is to explain to your child why drinking two Red Bulls a day during exam season is a bad idea’if they understand the reasoning behind it, they just might listen.
What do you think? Should energy drinks be banned for kids under 18, or is this another example of over-protective parenting gone awry?