Alcohol-free upbrining is best for a child’s brain development says UK Chief Medical Officer

‘Don’t give children alcohol in the home until they reach 15’  By the Independent UK’s Chief Medical Officer is recommending that parents not allow children to be given alcohol until they reach 15. The guidance follows a youth alcohol action plan drawn up by the Government which warns that young people who drink too much are significantly more likely to take drugs of all kinds and be absent from school. Of those children excluded from school, 45 per cent had had a drink in the past week compared with only 21 per cent of those who had never been excluded. The figures show that the number of children from age 11 to 15 who said that they had never taken a drink has risen from 38 per cent to 46 per cent since 2001. Those who did drink, though, consumed 11 units a week, on average, compared with five units in 2001 … i.e. while the proportion of children drinking alcohol is actually falling, “binge drinking” is increasing, with those who do start younger consuming more. In his guidance, the Chief Medical Officer will say that an alcohol-free upbringing is best for a child’s brain development.

It’s official: children must not drink a drop By Evening Standard UK ministers are set to unveil new guidelines which will advise parents to ban young people from drinking alcohol until they are 15. Department of Children, Schools and Families data show how children regularly take alcohol from home. Nearly half of 11 to 15-year-olds claiming to drink 14 or more units a week say they get the alcohol from their parents. In 2006/7, under-18s were involved in nearly 10 per cent of all alcohol-related hospital admissions.

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