Erratic, shaking and agitated - a mother has told how her young daughter was almost unrecognisable after drinking an energy drink.
Briony Hope is warning other parents about the effect the energy drinks can have on young children after seeing her daughter lose control from drinking just one.
The 40-year-old said Emily, nine, was like “an adult on drugs” after consuming part of the Emerge drink while out playing with friends.
She said: “She’s nine but she’s the size of a seven-year-old really, a child should not have that.
“It was like looking at an adult on drugs, her behaviour and her eyes were just all over the place.
“She was agitated, went freezing cold and her behaviour was bad.”
The Newton Bluecoat Primary School pupil bought the drink from a shop near her Newton-with-Scales home while playing out, not knowing the effects the drink could have.
The drink was a cherry flavoured Emerge, labelled as a glucose energy drink.
Her mother added: “She said she felt horrible and eventually collapsed on the floor in a heap then we had to stay up until 11pm playing games to get it our of her system.
“I thought they weren’t meant to be sold to under 18s.
“I just think others should know not to sell these drinks to children, or buy them for them. They’re dangerous.”
Rachel Wilcock, principal officer for food for Lancashire County Council’s trading standards service, said: “There are currently no specific regulations for age-related sales restrictions of energy drinks in the UK, but the industry is looking at whether to introduce further regulations and one supermarket is piloting a voluntary scheme preventing sales to under 16s.
“However, there are regulations relating to the labelling of energy drinks.
“This change won’t bring about an age restriction, but it will give a clearer warning to the public that high caffeine products should not be consumed by young people.
“We have carried out our own testing on caffeinated drinks in the last two years, to ensure that products were labelled appropriately and to advise businesses about the impending change in legislation.
“In the main, we found that products were labelled in line with the legislation, and were even taking extra steps to ensure they were meeting future legislation.”
A spokesman for Emerge said: “We would the welcome the opportunity to work with the family involved so that we can investigate further as ensuring our drinks are enjoyed responsibly is of paramount importance to us.
“With no known reports of this nature, and with very little detail given to us at this point, we are unfortunately unable to comment any further at this time.”