Parents should talk to kids about alcohol at age 9 according to the AAP in a new report aimed at preventing binge drinking.
The writers of the American Academy of Pediatrics report noted that up to 50 percent of high school students currently drink alcohol. Among high school students who drink, up to 60 percent binge drink, according to the report published in the journal Pediatrics.
Approximately half of the 12 to 14 year olds who drink engage in binge drinking. While the total number of binge drinkers in this age group remains low, the authors of the report believe that parents must be aware of the consequences as well as the signs.
According to report co-author Dr Lorena Siqueira, clinical professor of pediatrics at Florida International University, “kids are starting to develop impressions [about alcohol] as early as 9 years”. She believes that it is better for parents to shape children’s attitudes early about alcohol, rather than change them later.
“[Alcohol is] ubiquitous” she said. And kids see it everywhere — on the sides of buses, on billboards and in movies, she said.
“If you’re driving, and you see someone swerving, talk about that. If you see it in a movie, talk to your kids about it then,” she said.