Huntingdonshire mum hits out at Poundland for selling child energy drinks
- Credit: Archant
A MUM has criticised a shop for selling energy drinks deemed unsuitable for children to her 11-year-old son.
Hayley Goundry said she was dismayed to discover Ethan had been allowed to buy a four-pack of Emerge from Poundland, in Huntingdon.
“These cans clearly state ‘Not suitable for children’,” she said. “I told him ‘You can’t drink four cans of that stuff’.
“He didn’t know. If I hadn’t found out, I don’t know what might have happened.”
Mrs Goundry, of West Street, Hartford, said she had only just started letting Ethan go into town on his own to prepare him for September when he starts at Hinchingbrooke School.
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“I’d given him some money to spend and he came back with the cans. I couldn’t believe it.”
Ethan bought the cans on Tuesday, May 8. The following day, Mrs Goundry went to the store in St Germain Walk, which opened on May 3, to find out how it had happened.
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“I asked to speak to a manager. I explained what had happened and she seemed shocked and had a word with the ladies on the checkout.
“It’s not as if he doesn’t look 11 – he does. It’s like selling alcohol to children. My fear is that this will continue to happen.”
The UK Food Standards Agency advises that children and pregnant women should consume drinks with high levels of caffeine in moderation.
Studies have shown that high intake of caffeine has been associated with seizures and strokes.
Despite the potential health implications, no law exists that bans the sale of energy drinks to children.
A Poundland spokesman said: “We take the health and well-being of our customers very seriously and where age restrictions apply we always adhere to them and are assisted in this with the use of electronic till prompts.
“Energy drinks are not age-restricted by law, although some manufacturers do give guidance on the packaging.”
The spokesman said signs carrying the Food Standards Agency guidance would be put on shelves with the energy drinks at all its stores by Friday as a response to Mrs Goundry’s complaint.
Mrs Goundry said the signs were a “minor win” but thought the law should be changed to protect children. “I’ve contacted my MP,” she said. “These cans clearly state ‘Not suitable for children’ for a reason.”