Pediatricians are advising doctors, guardians or parents that you should warn your kids about alcohol by the age of 9, preferably before they take their first sip. It’s an issue that rises more commonly in the new era of marketing, where advertising often takes advantage of the legal aspect of alcoholic drinks and paint them in a positive light.
Children are especially impressionable, so a new study has gathered data on the habits of children, teenagers and adults, along with a ensuing caution on when parents should bring up the subject. It’s one more important ‘talk’ that should be added on every parent’s list, that might rank up there with the bids and the bees.
Dr. Lorena Siqueira, who is co-author of the study and a professor of pediatrics at Florida International University, has claimed that children start gaining a more positive view of alcohol between the ages of 9 and 13 years old, during which parents should interfere with cautionary advice and a serious talk about the risks.
According to the survey, 21% of young adults have admitted to trying an alcoholic beverage before the age of 13, and a more expected 79% by the end of highschool. In fact, 50% of students between the 9th and 12th grade regularly indulge in alcohol, among which 60% actually binge drink (binge drinking has been defined as three drinks or over for teenagers).
More worryingly though, the study has concluded that over 50% of children between the ages of 12 to 14 years old actually binge drink, a percentage that can rise to 79% when they reach between 18 to 20 years old, but gradually lessens as they become adults.
The issue seemed to be stemmed in the fact that most young adults or teenagers often resort to stronger drinks, such as vodka, which they consume very fast with the specific goal in mind of getting drunk. There’s not relaxing Friday night out with friends that implies a beer or two. Teenagers seemed to take a more harmless habit into a potentially lethal vice.
One third of the fatal accidents of young adults between the ages of 15 and 20 years are due to alcohol abuse.
The problem starts early, according to Dr. Siqueira, and parents, as well as doctors, should warn about the possible dangers of alcohol at a very tender age and should strive not to make the habit look positive. It’s their responsibility to pose as a good example, and while allowing children to see you drink a glass of wine isn’t harmful, being drunk could be.
Image source: telegraph.co.uk