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Children and alcohol guidelines

March 2009

Children and alcohol guidelines

 

New guidelines from the Government are advising parents to make childhood an alcohol-free zone. With a recommendation that parents should not let their children drink until they are 15, while those between 15 and 17 years of age should not drink alcohol more than once a week and only under parent or carer supervision.

     The guidelines were drawn up under the supervision of Chief Medical Officer Liam Donaldson, in a bid to reverse the binge drinking trend among young people. A government report in 2004 stated that as many as 1.3 million children in England were suffering because of parental drinking. According to Sir Liam, more than 300,000 children between the ages of 11 and 15 get drunk each week.

     Hope UK, the Christian drug and alcohol awareness charity welcomed the guidelines and called the statement ‘a step in the direction of reducing the UK’s problem with alcohol’ but added: ‘It will need the active involvement of parents and carers – not just in denying alcohol but also, and more importantly, in the provision and role modelling of alcohol-free options.’

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