Teenage kicks

As the party season draws near, it’s a good time for parents to ensure that their teenagers are alcohol-savvy. The typical British teenager has their first drink at 13 and half of all 16-17 year olds drink at least once a week. Apart from risks to their health from drinking so young, getting drunk – as many teenagers do – gets them involved in fights, criminal behaviour and increases teen pregnancy risk, so it’s important to discuss drinking with your child. DoH advice is that under 15s shouldn’t drink at all and 16-17 year olds very little.

There’s plenty of tips that parents can give their teens before they go out partying to ensure they stay safe.

1. Having a meal before going out, or at least snacks between drinks.

2. Alternating alcoholic drinks with water or soft drinks .

3. Tell them not to mix their drinks, as it makes it harder to keep track of what they’ve had. Teach them about units of alcohol and how much is in a unit for different drinks.

4. Make sure they let you know where they are going, who with and how they are getting home.

Read my piece in Tesco Living magazine online http://www.tescoliving.com/family-and-kids/parenting/2013/october/talking-to-your-teen-about-drinking