For My Hyper 7-Year-Old: Coffee

Like Ritalin with fewer side effects, writes Christie Haskell
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2011 3:29 PM CDT
Mom Christie Haskell: I Give My Hyperactive Kid Coffee, Not Ritalin
Good for a 7-year-old?   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – What do you do when your kid can’t sit still—but you’re concerned about the side effects of Ritalin? One mom offers an unusual remedy that goes against standard medical advice: Give the youngster coffee, she writes at the Stir blog at Cafe Mom. Christie Haskell didn’t want her hyperactive son diagnosed with ADHD, so she tried her own cure: The 7-year-old drinks coffee with breakfast. Ritalin’s “not exactly a shining success story,” but it’s a stimulant, boosting blood flow to the brain and helping people focus. Coffee’s a stimulant, too.

“One hundred mg of caffeine actually accomplishes a lot of the same things as 5mg of Ritalin ... but obviously, without many of the potential risks,” Haskell writes. Some moms are even handing out low-dose caffeine pills, she adds. Still, “just to be clear, we're not exactly following doctor's orders here,” she points out, and "we're not talking about every kid here, either." (ABC News has more details on why doctors aren't sold on caffeine for kids.) But Haskell’s mom noted her grandson’s newfound calmness, and “that's proof enough for me.” Click for the full post. (Read more coffee stories.)

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