The Chief Medical Officer's guidance is that children under 15 should not drink alcohol. This is because alcohol can have serious effects on developing brains and bodies, as well as leaving teenagers vulnerable to unsafe situations.
We know that parents are a key supplier of alcohol to their children with 71% of 11-15s obtaining alcohol from their parents (NHS Digital). We therefore thought it might be interesting to share some findings from a recent IPSOS MORI report around the parental supply of alcohol with you.
The IPSOS survey of over 2000 parents with children aged 11-17 year olds conducted in 2021 found that:
- 67% of parents are not aware of - or have limited knowledge of - government advice on consumption for under 18s.
- 67% would value a source of advice on health advice for under 18s and only 13% have such a source to turn to.
- 53% have allowed or would allow their children to drink alcohol underage
- 12% would allow their child to drink alcohol unsupervised - CMO guidance is that if parents allow 15-17 year olds to drink it should always be supervised.
- Parents significantly overestimate drinking prevalence among under 18s suggesting a need to educate them about correct social norms.
Here at the AET we can record advice for parents tailored for you school, or come in and talk to parents and carers in a non-preachy supportive way. We can cover a wide range of important topics as well as provide the opportunity for any Q&A. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. There is also excellent advice for parents on our website www.alcoholeducationtrust.org with a dedicated section for parents on the law, parties, being good role models and setting boundaries.
Parents should be central to alcohol education efforts as they are cited by teenagers as the primary source of information on alcohol and need the facts and skills to protect their children from alcohol harm.