As we think about the end of the school year, for some kids that
means time at home without a parent or chaperone. Summer vacation
can be fun and full of friends and sun and time at the pool. But it
can also be a chance for kids to get into trouble. As a parent,
it's good to know that alcohol can be used and abused by kids and
know what to look for. Below are some facts and tips about alcohol
use and abuse.
Tips and Advice to Consider:
Start talking before they start drinking…especially if
alcoholism or addiction runs in your family!
Explain how they are more likely to fall into the trap because
of their genetic predisposition.
Set clear rules. Be specific: "Absolutely no underage drinking
in our family."
Build a strong relationship with your child by developing close
bonding experiences and have daily positive interactions.
Know your children's friends and their parents. This includes
names and cell phone numbers.
Know where your kids are, who they are with, and what they are
doing at all times.
Warning signs of alcohol poisoning include:
Slow, shallow/irregular breathing
Blue-tinged skin or pale skin
No withdrawal from painful stimuli
Warning for parents:
When kids drink, they drink to get drunk…typically consuming 5
or more drinks in a row (called binge drinking) which can cause
alcohol poisoning. Without realizing it, kids will put a drunken
friend to bed to "sleep it off," only to find them dead in the
morning. In 2011 the National Survey on Drug Use and Health
reported that 25% of youth aged 12 to 20 years drink alcohol and
16% reported binge drinking.
These facts can be daunting and scary, but they are simply meant
to serve as a warning to help parents recognize the signs and
dangers of alcohol use and abuse for teenagers.
For more information on teenagers and alcohol, visit http://operationparent.org/alcohol.
Operation Parent: Providing ongoing education, support and
hope to those raising teens and preteens in today's