According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, alcohol is the substance most frequently abused by teens. Its use leads to the most injuries and deaths from accidents, homicides, and suicides among teens. During the holiday season, family parties are abundant and many of these parties will have alcohol. In the comfort of family and friends we may be tempted to give our children their first sip of alcohol. As it turns out, this could be a major mistake for your child’s future.
Adults age 21 or older who started using alcohol before age 15 were almost six times as likely to have alcohol dependence or abuse than adults who first used alcohol at age 21. Children begin to have a positive outlook on alcohol as young as age 9, especially if their parents are drinkers. Most children look up to their parents and want to emulate them, so talking to your children early about alcohol is extremely important!
Children (and adults!) can enjoy fun nonalcoholic holiday drinks. Click here for recipes for 3 Party Drinks Without The Alcohol.
Eric Dale is a prevention specialist at Harbor, an affiliate of ProMedica. This article excerpt is part of the Prevention Prevents series, a weekly series of columns found on Harbor.org. For the full article, click here. For more information about Harbor’s prevention programs, please call 419-475-4449.