Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is caffeine bad for children's skin?"
I let my nephew drink soda and a little bit of coffee too sometimes when I babysit him. He is 4 years old. Now he is getting a lot of skin rashes. Is it because I gave him caffeine? Does caffeine do bad things to children's skin?
Soda, coffee, and other similar drinks that contain caffeine do not typically cause any trouble with the skin. This does not mean that children should be allowed to drink caffeine in large amounts. Caffeine can have multiple effects on children, most typically interfering with their normal sleep cycles. Additionally, it is not recommended that children be allowed to drink large amounts of soda, because these contain lots of empty sugar calories which displace healthy nutritional foods and may contribute to problems with becoming overweight. The fact that your nephew is having skin rashes is definitely something that needs to be investigated, however. Children commonly suffer from food allergies and eczema, which are the typical causes of chronic skin rashes. The best step would be to encourage your nephew's parents to bring them to see his pediatrician. The pediatrician will be able to provide good advice on how much soda and caffeine intake is healthy for the child. They will also be able to take a look at the rash and help figure out what the likely cause of the rash is. Additional testing may be needed, including allergy testing, but the child should see his pediatrician as soon as possible first!
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