The World Health Organization has declared that they are safe at reasonable levels.
A child would have to drink four diet sodas to go above the allowable daily intake of about 900 milligrams of aspartame.
However, children under age 2 are advised not to drink or eat food with artificial sweeteners. Saccharin, for example, was thought to cause cancer, and aspartame, to cause seizures and brain tumors. Sweeteners such as sorbitol and mannitol (found in juices and sodas) can cause diarrhea because they are not absorbed fully and can act as laxatives.
According to recent studies, other sweeteners such as sucralose or Splenda don’t pose a health risk.
Sources: l Sunil Sazawal, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., associate professor, department of international health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, U.S. l SMART PARENTING May/June, November/December 2003, March, April, June, July, August, November 2004, April, May, June, September, December 2005