The issue of parents giving alcohol to their underage children has once again come under the spotlight.
This time the Western Australian state government is urging parents to think about the dangers of underage drinking before supplying alcohol to their children.
The state government has launched a new campaign which will feature on the radio, television as well as print advertisements and will highlight the effects of alcohol on the brain of young people. This follows research which reveals that a disturbingly high number of young people are obtaining alcohol from their parents.
The following is an excerpt from a post on Abc.net.au which explains more about the campaign and the government’s warnings:
The State Government has launched a new campaign warning parents about the dangers of supplying alcohol to children.
The television, radio and print advertisements highlight the effects alcohol has on brain development in young people.
The government says the latest data shows almost a third of young people got their last alcoholic drink from their parents.
There is an overwhelming body of evidence which proves that alcohol can be damaging to the developing brain of a teenager, yet many parents fail to recognise the risks and continue to provide their children and their children’s friends with alcohol.
Either parents are too ignorant of the risks to their children ‘s health or they are trying to teach their teens to drink responsibly however the problem with this approach is that it fails to recognise that even moderate amounts of alcohol can damage the brain of a young people, most times irreversibly.
The post also goes on to explain:
The Mental Health Minister Helen Morton says the evidence that alcohol can damage a young person’s brain and body is clear.
Mrs Morton says the advertisements coincide with end-of-school year celebrations, when some parents consider providing alcohol for their children.
“I believe parents haven’t had the awareness or the understanding around the impacts of alcohol and the damage it can cause to young people’s brains and bodies,” she said
I am reminded of a recent study discussed in an article on British website Dailymail.co.uk which detailed the findings of a study conducted by psychologist, Dr Aric Sigman.
Dr. Sigman explained that delaying alcohol introduction to children is best because alcohol can do long lasting neurological damage to their developing brains and bodies.
The psychologist has appealed to British parents and parents across the EU to refrain from giving their children alcohol until they are of 18 years old age. In fact he believes people shouldn’t drink until they are 25.He also explained that the earlier in life a child begins drinking, the more likely they are to develop a drinking problem.
Sigman warned parents that for the health of their children they should wait till their children are at least 16 before they introduce them to alcohol at home. Obviously it is best to wait till teenagers are of legal drinking age (18 in Oz) before allowing them to drink alcohol but those parents who want to teach their children responsible drinking should not do so until they are at least 16.
For more on Sigman’s research read the full post at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2320218/Under-18s-banned-having-ANY-alcohol-Warning-attempts-introduce-children-drinking-risks-turning-alcoholic-later-life.html