Half of UK parents let their kids drink alcohol at home
19th August 2016
watching tvShocking statistics show that nearly half of parents with children under the age of 14 are letting their kids drink alcohol at home. This emerged following new research conducted by Churchill home insurance, finding that 34% of parents with children under 14 years of age are using booze as a method of bribery for good behaviour. Furthermore – and alarmingly – 11% of parents with children aged between 5 and 7 are allowing them to drink alcohol at home. What is even worse in the whole matter is that a quarter of those parents who completed the survey believed there was nothing wrong in what they were doing. It is not against the law for a child aged between 5 and 16 to drink at home, but the Chief Medical Officer’s report states that children who do so under the age of 14 are at a higher risk of problems including alcohol-related injury, suicide attempts and becoming involved with violence. The survey found that nearly a third of parents allowing their children to drink at home believed this would help monitor their child’s alcohol consumption. Although, at Medical Specialists® Pharmacy, we believe said children shouldn’t be having any alcohol whatsoever. In addition, the research showed that around 1 in 5 parents would even allow other parents' children to drink alcohol in their home. Quite what the child’s parents would make of this is another matter. Martin Scott, head of Churchill home insurance said: “The relationship between children and alcohol in Britain always seems more fraught than for our continental cousins. Many parents want their children to have a responsible attitude to drinking and introduce alcohol in a safe, controlled environment. “The challenge any parent will recognise is how to prevent excessive drinking, especially amongst teenagers ... Whenever people are drinking in the home, there is a greater risk of injury or property damage as alcohol has a significant impact on co-ordination.” Joanna Simons, chief executive at Alcohol Concern, said: “We know that many parents start from the best intentions when they introduce children to alcohol at home, but all the research indicates that the younger that children start drinking, the more likely they are to have problems with alcohol in later life. “Parents are really important role models for their children and the more that they can keep an eye on the number of units they’re drinking, and have a few days off drinking each week, the more that their children’s attitude to alcohol will be shaped in a safer way. “The Chief Medical Officer advises that an alcohol-free childhood is the safest option and that those under 15-years-old, ideally, should not drink at all.” Rosanna O’Connor, director of alcohol, drugs and tobacco at Public Health England, said: “Advice from the Chief Medical Officer for England is that an alcohol-free childhood is the healthiest option. “Most parents are aware of the dangers of children and young people consuming alcohol from an early age and evidence points to the fact that starting to drink alcohol before the age of 15 can affect their health and wellbeing in the future.”