Proposed bill limits caffeine for teens after SC teen dies from - FOX Carolina 21

Proposed bill limits caffeine for teens after SC teen dies from energy drink

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

"He was a great kid," Sean Cripe said. "He didn't get mixed up in the wrong things." 

Sean Cripe is talking about his 16-year-old son, Davis. Davis Cripe loved music, playing the drums and had his whole life ahead of him. 

"You worry about their safety, their health, especially when they start driving but it wasn't a car crash that took his life, instead it was an energy drink," Sean Cripe said. 

The Richland County coroner said an energy drink, paired with a latte and and a large soda was a mix that caused Davis to collapse inside of his classroom and never get back up in May 2017. 

"These drinks, this amount of caffeine, how its adjusted could have dire consequences and that's what happened in this case," Gary Watts, Richland County coroner said. 

Now Davis' parents Sean and Heidi Cripe want to make sure no other parents know what it feels like to walk in their shoes. 

Representative Leon Howard introduced a proposed bill, teaming up with Davis' parents. It's a bill that would make it illegal to sell or give an energy drink to kids under 18 years old.  Violating the law would result in a misdemeanor charge and, at least a $50 fine.

"The recommended amount for caffeine in children is really less than a cup of coffee a day, less than 100 milligrams per day, which would be your average cup of coffee." 

Doctors at Emergency MD in Greenville said energy drinks can have triple that amount, more like like 3 to 5 cups of coffee at one time. 

"I think there needs to be some limitations on these energy drinks because at certain high levels, they can definitely cause some side effects and especially if they're mixed with other drugs, caffeine pills, adderall, vivance, or alcohol, they can be deadly," Dr. Christian Montagano said. 

Sean Cripe pointed out The American Medical Association's suggestion for legislation to restrict the sale of energy drinks to adolescents. Also, the American Beverage Association, which represents 95% of the energy drink makers, advises the products are not for consumption by children. 

"Parents talk to your kids about the dangers of these energy drinks," Sean Cripe said. 

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