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.
“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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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