The American Academy of Pediatrics just issued a report saying that 9 year olds should be warned about the consequences of alcohol consumption.
Field expert believe that if parent follow this advice, they may prevent their kids from becoming binge drinkers once they hit puberty. Right now, 50 percent (50%) of US high school students drink alcohol, and 60 percent (60%) of these students are in the habit of binge drinking.
But what’s even more alarming is that about 50 percent (50%) of alcohol consumers between the ages of 12 and 14 are also in the habit of binge drinking. While statistics have shown that only 0.8 percent (0.8%) of kids in this age group drink alcohol, the fact that there are any of them is of concern to the researchers.
Though it may not necessarily seem like it, age 9 is actually very appropriate for a discussion on alcohol consumption and its effects. Dr. Lorena Siqueira, clinical professor of pediatrics over at Florida International University and co-author of the report, offered a statement informing that “kids are starting to develop impressions [about alcohol] as early as 9 years”.
She is convinced that it’s a lot easier to prevent young people from abusing alcohol and binge drinking if parents make an effort to have an influence on their opinion while it’s forming, rather than attempting to change it after it already formed.
Dr. Siqueira stressed that alcohol “is the substance most frequently abused by children and adolescents”. But alcohol is not an illegal substance, so its effects are typically downplayed.
She added that she often has kids in the intensive care unit, and once she informs their parents that the problem is alcohol, they feel relief. But this is a poor reaction as alcohol can kill these kids.
Researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describe binge drinkers as being adult men who consume at least five (5) if not more alcoholic beverages during a single event or in a single sitting, and adult women who consume at least four (4) if not more alcoholic beverages during a single event or in a single sitting.
But when it comes to kids and teens, their tolerance levels are much lower than those of adults, and they also weigh less. What this means is that some teens just need to drink three (3) alcoholic beverages in order for the sitting to be considered a binge drinking session.
What’s worse, many teens seem to deliberately make dangerous choices. Dr. Siqueira shared that the main problem with teen drinking is their approach to alcohol consumption – they prefer to drink vodka, consume it very fast, and right from the bottle – this indicates that they actually want to get very drunk, very fast. However this habit can potentially kill them.
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