Does chocolate make kids hyperactive? Confronting myths of ADHD

Dispelling myths about ADHD with Dr. Tammy Camp

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The National Institute of Mental Health estimates ADHD occurs in 3 to 5 percent of preschool and school-aged children.

That would be an average of 1 in every class of 25 or 30 students.

Dr. Tammy Camp, a pediatrician and Texas Tech Physician, says this is the time of year when a lot of kids come in to be evaluated because parents or teachers notice signs of hyperactivity.

But she says one thing that will not be a clue... is an overactive child after too much chocolate or sodas at a party.

She says it's a myth to think that too much caffeine makes a child hyperactive. "With children who eat too much chocolates in cupcakes, that's not going to be responsible for the hyperactivity," she explains. "In fact, we use caffeine sometimes to treat ADHD. It's a stimulant and many of the drugs we use are stimulants. For children with that, it has the opposite effect than what it has with one of us."

Another myth that has been shattered about ADHD is the idea that it shows up in the early years.

Dr. Camp says new research has shown that although ADHD is often identified in the pre-school years, it can reveal itself even as late as age 18.

ADHD is one of the topics in the 39th Annual Pediatric Postgraduate Conference at Texas Tech that begins Friday, August 28th, from 7am until 5pm, then on Saturday, August 29th, from 7am until noon. That continuing education for medical professionals will be at the International Cultural Center just west of UMC.

Other issues to be discussed include childhood cancer and child abuse. Guest instructors are coming to Lubbock from other parts of the state to share their expertise.

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