No parent is ever comfortable with discussing the more sensitive aspects of the adult world with its child. The dangers of binge drinking included.
But according to a clinical report issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), when it comes “having a talk” with your child about alcohol, it is better to do it early. The report states that children commonly start thinking about alcohol between the ages of 9 and 13.
Most parents would prefer to wait until their offspring reach full adolescence to approach such an uncomfortable subject as binge drinking and the dangers associated with it.
However, it’s been known for a long time that during early adolescence the parent is still the central figure of a child’s inner world. This makes any information received from the parent at this age to be taken more seriously by the child. To “stick” better in his mind.
A parental talk about the dangers of binge drinking seems to be needed now more than ever. The figures provided by the AAP report speak for themselves:
Alcohol abuse among children and adolescents experienced a constant increase in the United States over the last couple of decades. As many as 20% of teens had tasted alcohol before the age of 13 and 80% of all students are expected to experimented with alcohol before finishing high school
Between 35 to 50% of high school students are considered to be occasional drinkers, and between 28 to 60% of them report to have partaken in binge drinking. All of the self-declared binge drinkers, admit to having consumed alcohol at least once in the previous month.
As defined by the Center for Disease Control, any alcohol intake that raises blood alcohol levels above 0.08g/dL is considered binge drinking. This most commonly translates to around four beers, or a quarter bottle of wine, for an average adult.
Furthermore, the health risks associated with alcohol consumption are not always known by the young.
There is a worrying tendency among adolescence to test their limits regarding alcohol consumption. Coupled with their usually low tolerance for alcohol, this puts them at a very high risk of alcohol poisoning, a condition that may very well prove fatal.
The dangers associated with the loss of inhibition brought in by alcohol consumption are not to be ignored. Teenagers who drink regularly are more likely to fall victim to violence, such as rape or assault, or be involved in car crashes.
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