Energy drinks are a popular choice for many Florida residents who need a boost in energy. However, many do not realize the danger than is associated with these drinks. Because these drinks are classified as dietary supplements, they are not regulated by the FDA. Therefore, the companies who distribute them can potentially put a dangerous product on the market with little regulation.
Many teenagers and young children have easy access to energy drinks. They are in grocery stores and soda machines across Florida. In one case, a 14-year-old girl was drinking them at the mall with friends. According to sources, she drank four of the Monster energy drinks in a 24-hour time period. A few hours later, the girl went into cardiac arrest.
The doctors at the hospital induced a coma to protect the young girl's brain. However, she never regained consciousness and died. According to doctors, she suffered a heart arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity. The girl was otherwise completely healthy.
It is known that, because energy drinks are not regulated by the FDA, they can contain extremely high levels of caffeine and caffeine-containing herbs. Studies have shown that these ingredients are dangerous in high doses.
Young kids may not be able to distinguish the difference between marketing language and facts for certain products. While some of the drinks have a warning on the can, many ingredients in the drinks appeal to young kids. By claiming to enhance performance, increase attention and alertness, and boosting nutrition, kids tend to gravitate towards the products without fully understanding what they consist of.
Sadly, the young girl was an unknowing victim of a dangerous product. The drinks have remained on store shelves everywhere without proper regulation, labeling or accountability. However, members of the young girl's community have sworn off the product and are urging others to realize the dangers of energy drinks.
It is unknown if the family has taken legal action against the energy drink company, but other families who suffer a loss or serious injury due to a dangerous product have the right to seek compensation for damages.
Source: The Record Herald, "Caffeine toxicity from energy drinks cited in Anais Fournier's death," Denise Bonura, Jan. 26, 2012