On Monday, South Carolina coroner Gary Watts confirmed during a news conference that 16-year-old Davis Allen Cripe collapsed and passed away after consuming a massive amount of Caffeine. The South Carolina teenager collapsed at Spring Hill High School after drinking a latte from McDonald's, a large Mountain Dew, and an energy drink all within the time span of two hours.

His heart fell out of rhythm

After collapsing at school, Davis Allen Cripe was taken to Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge Hospital where he later died. His doctors revealed his heart “fell out of rhythm” thanks to the extreme amount of caffeine the South Carolina teenager consumed within a two-hour window.

Davis Allen Cripe’s official death was ruled as a “caffeine-induced arrhythmia.” As the name suggests, the caffeine caused the teenager to experience an irregular heartbeat.

During the news conference, the coroner noted Davis Allen Cripe died because of a “totally legal substance.” It was revealed that the 16-year-old from South Carolina was completely against both alcohol and drugs. Gary Watts noted that he has taken the time to tell his friends and family members how dangerous these caffeine beverages can be and how people shouldn’t be consuming them.

Teen are consuming it now more than ever

A recent study confirmed teenagers in the ninth and 10th grade are consuming caffeine more now than they ever had before.

Statistically, 44.6 percent of teenagers consume a caffeinated beverage between one to six times a week and 11.4 percent consume one every day. It is less than 5 percent of teenagers that never touch caffeine.

Why is it that teenagers are so drawn to caffeine? Well, it is mostly because they have to feel more alert and need to study harder and for more hours.

Caffeine allows a person to stay away by blocking off the molecules in the body that tell your brain you are tired. Caffeine can also increase bowel movements, cause mood swings, and make it difficult to sleep properly.

Caffeine is a drug

The South Carolina coroner revealed that Cripe was a healthy 16-year-old who didn’t have any medical history to suggest caffeine consumption would impact him so negatively.

However, it is important to keep in mind everyone metabolizes caffeine differently. More importantly, medical experts want parents to know children should not consume caffeine. Drinking caffeine as a child can cause problems for the growth and development of cardiovascular and neurological systems.

The most important thing medical experts and the coroner want parents – and teenagers – to take away from this terrible news story is the fact that caffeine is nothing more than an addictive drug. It is something that should only be consumed in small, controlled amounts. Ideally, caffeine isn’t something a child should ever consume. The only exception being if a doctor recommends caffeine for medical reasons.

For example, it is not uncommon for a doctor to suggest drinking a cup of black coffee for children who have ADHD. This is a recommendation because – in some cases – it can work as a downer instead of an upper. It is important to make sure you have a doctor giving you this recommendation before you just try to use this piece of advice yourself.