18/06/2014

23% Of Parents Give Their Children Alcohol To Celebrate End Of Exams

Nearly one in four parents will be giving their children alcohol to celebrate the end of their exams this summer, a new Drinkaware survey has revealed.

On average, a child aged 14-17 can expect to get 9 units of alcohol to take to post-exam parties, holidays or festivals, which is the equivalent of four cans of beer, an entire bottle of wine or a third of a bottle of vodka.

Outside of the exam celebration period, more than half (54%) of parents surveyed said they have given their child an alcoholic drink. The large majority (86%) of parents whose children have asked them for alcohol have given it.

Drinkaware is urging parents not to give children alcohol to celebrate the end of exams, as their developing adolescent bodies can be damaged by its effects. The Chief Medical Officer's guidance states that an alcohol-free childhood is the best option, as alcohol can damage a young person’s developing body. The charity is concerned that giving children alcohol to take to parties could normalise a drinking culture from a young age.

Elaine Hindal, Chief Executive of Drinkaware, said: "The average amount some parents are providing is equivalent to a whole bottle of wine, and that is more than enough to get a 15 year old drunk. No parent wants to think of their child out on their own being drunk and vulnerable, but effectively that is what we could be facilitating by giving alcohol as a reward.

"It is illegal for parents to purchase alcohol on behalf of someone under 18. Worse still, it normalises a culture of excessive drinking among young people.

"We want to reassure parents that not all young people drink alcohol, and that it is important to support children to celebrate without it, whether they are going on holiday for the first time with their friends or attending a school prom party."

(CVS/CD)

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