A new report issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics says that parents should warn their kids about the dangers of alcohol at age 9.
The researchers believe that following this advice may prevent young people from binge drinking in their teen years. They informed that 50 percent (50%) of all high school students presently drink alcohol and that 60 percent (60%) of these students usually binge drink.
The researchers also wrote that almost 50 percent (50%) of alcohol drinkers in the 12 to 14 age group also binge drink. While they stressed that the number of alcohol drinkers in this age group is still very low, having any number ok kids binge drink at this age is very dangerous and parents should inform them of the consequences.
While the age of 9 may seem a little absurd for such a discussion, Dr. Lorena Siqueira, co-author of the report and clinical professor of pediatrics from Florida International University, gave a statement saying that “kids are starting to develop impressions [about alcohol] as early as 9 years”.
She believes that it’s easier to keep young people from binge drinking if parents try to influence their opinion on the matter early on, rather than try to chance it after kids already formed an opinion.
Dr. Siqueira claims that alcohol “is the substance most frequently abused by children and adolescents”. The problem is that alcohol is a legal substance, so its consequences are typically downplayed.
She went on to add that “When I have kids in the ICU [intensive care unit], and I tell the parents it’s alcohol, they’re relieved”. Parents react at the news by feeling relief, but Dr. Siqueira stresses that they shouldn’t because alcohol is a substance than can kill their kids.
Binge drinking has become increasingly more popular in the past few years and it’s not just kids that are drawn to it. Researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that one (1) in six (6) American adults practice binge drinking approximately four (4) times each month.
The CDC describes binge drinking as consuming five (5) or more alcoholic beverages in a single sitting or during a single event, in the case of adult men, and consuming four (4) or more alcoholic beverages in a single sitting or during a single event, in the case of adult women.
But kids have a much lower tolerance level than adults and they weigh a lot less. Some teens only need to consume three (3) alcoholic beverages in a single sitting or during a single event to step into binge drinking territory.
Dr. Siqueira explained that the biggest danger with teens lies in how they drink – they prefer vodka, drink it very fast, and usually straight from the bottle – this means that their very goal is to get really drunk, really fast. But this approach has the potential to kill them.
The report of the American Academy of Pediatrics confirms this by informing that a third of the fatal car accidents that members of the 15 to 20 age group get into involve alcohol.
What’s more, recent studies have shown that starting to regularly drink at such a young age can interrupt key brain development processes and increase the chances of excessive alcohol use later in life.
The report was published earlier this week, on Monday (August 31, 2015), in the medical journal Pediatrics.
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