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Drinkaware: I think my teenager might already be experimenting with alcohol

What tips can help them stay safe?

I think my teenager might already be experimenting with alcohol or feeling under pressure to drink.

Even the most sensible child can be vulnerable as a result of alcohol.

Here are some tips you can give your child to help them stay safe.

Eat

If your child does get drunk, try not to overreact. Stay calm and wait until the next day to discuss it.

Making sure they eat a proper meal before they start drinking will slow the alcohol getting into their

system, so they won’t get drunk so quickly. Starchy food like pasta is best.

Mobile

Remind them to charge their mobile before they go out and make sure they have plenty of credit. Let them know they can call you at any time of day if they’re in trouble.

Alternate

Encouraging them to drinking plenty of water and alternate soft drinks with alcoholic ones will slow

down your child’s drinking. Buy them soft drinks to take out with them.

Don’t mix

Tell them not to mix their drinks, as this makes it harder to keep track of how much they’ve had. Make

sure they know that some drinks are stronger than others and could get them drunk

more quickly.

Pace

Encourage them to take their time to taste and enjoy their drinks rather than rushing or downing them.

Explain that having only one alcoholic drink on the go at a time can make it easier to keep track.

Spiking

Let them know that some people try to spike drinks with more alcohol than they want or with drugs. Tell

them to keep an eye on their glass or bottle and not to accept drinks from strangers.

Support

Let them know that if they’re in trouble, feel uncomfortable or can’t get home safely, they can call you

at any time to arrange to collect them, no questions asked.

Get home safely

Make sure they’ve planned how they’re getting home. Encourage them to stay with their friends, keep

enough money for a taxi and always use a licensed taxi firm. Make sure they let you know where they

are going and who with.

Drink driving

Remind them to never get into a car with someone who’s been drinking. It may seem obvious when

sober but people are more likely to take risks when drunk.

Safety

Make sure they know what to do if a friend becomes unwell or passes out – stay with them, put them

into the recovery position, make sure they can breathe and call an ambulance.

Parties

At parties that aren’t in your home, make sure an adult is going to be present. Three quarters (78%) of

parents think it is appropriate for 15 to 17 year olds to drink alcohol – so even if you don’t, your child’s

friend’s parents might. Don’t be worried to call the house and find out yourself – speaking about your

concerns with other parents will reassure you and help keep your child safe.

 

If your child does get drunk, try not to overreact. Stay calm and wait until the next day to discuss it.

Listen to their side of the story and talk through with them how they could act differently

in future.

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