The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to have a straightforward talk about the risks of alcohol before he or she is 10 years old. Although that may sound shocking, recent studies had shown that kids perceive alcohol use as a positive experience much earlier than their parents did.
Pediatricians recommend parents to have ‘the booze talk’ before their kids get a taste of alcohol. And that usually happens sooner than we may think due to commercials and some of their peers.
According to the AAP’s guidance, which was made public Monday, kids start to engage in alcohol use and perceive it as a good experience between ages 9 and 13 years old. Dr. Lorena Siqueira, one of the AAP researchers who issued the recommendations and a Miami pediatrician, explained that alcohol-related ads usually make kids curious to take a sip, and the more ads they see on alcoholic beverages the more likely to continue the habit.
But no advertisement informs them about the risks of alcohol. So, parents should step in and tell kids about the risks of alcohol when they’re nine, Dr. Siqueira recommends. And you should also do it although you know that your kid is an angel.
Pediatricians explained that parents are oblivious of kids’ propensity to try out alcohol at an early age. Additionally, GPs are less likely to ask preteens about their alcohol use. But statistics are grim.
According to a recent survey, 21 percent of teens admitted that they tested alcohol before they were even 13 years old, while 79 percent acknowledged that they tasted alcohol before the 12th grade.
AAP researchers explained that the phenomenon is linked to children trying to explore and test their limits. But that can turn into a dangerous game if they aren’t informed beforehand.
Recent reports also said that teens who drink tend to drink heavily more than adults who have this habit. Half of the kids 12 to 14 years of age drink heavily, while that figure rises to 72 percent in those aged 18 to 20.
Researchers also noted that alcohol is the favorite substance of abuse of children and teens in the U.S. But alcohol is also one of the leading causes of death among kids and adolescents and a risk factor for homicides, suicides, and road crashes.
AAP pediatricians also urge doctors to ask any adolescent that comes into their office whether he or she drinks alcohol. That simple gesture may save their lives. Since appearances are deceiving, many pediatricians tend to underestimate the severity of the problem in the young ones.
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