HKQ Kids

Kids and Alcohol

Adolescents and teens are facing more peer pressure than ever before to try “just a sip” of alcohol.  They may consider trying it so they aren’t labeled “uncool.” Often times, they are unaware just how dangerous alcohol is for them. That little sip may not seem very harmful to them, but it can lead to very negative behaviors that can have short and long-term effects. 

Kids who started drinking alcohol at age 13 have a 45% chance of becoming dependent of alcohol later in life, which is a 4 times greater chance than those who do not start drinking. Also, research has shown that children who begin drinking early are more likely to use other substances at higher rates as they become older.

Short-term effects of alcohol consumption:

  • Hearing, vision, and coordination problems
  • Impaired perception and altered emotions
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Decrease in participation in activities
  • Poor grades
  • Weakened decision-making
  • Nerve cell damage

Long-term effects of alcohol consumption:

  • Memory loss
  • Addiction
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Heart damage
  • Liver cirrhosis and cancer
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Stomach issues

The effects that come with alcohol consumption in minors can potentially be avoided by talking early and often about underage drinking and its effects. Informing your children should not just be one and done. It takes a lot of repetition for the formation of the right attitude toward alcohol consumption. It is recommended to begin talking to your children about alcohol consumption around age 8 to 11 because this is the timeframe where parents can have the largest influence on their child’s attitude toward alcohol.

Ways to start up the conversation:

  • Bring the topic up in your car or when listening to music that mentions alcohol
  • Ask open-ended questions instead of yes or no questions
  • Refrain from controlling the conversation by lecturing
  • Let them be an active participant in the conversation and listen to what they say
It is important to inform your children about the dangers of underage alcohol consumption and the dangers it can present.

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