Parents provide children with spirits and wine

02 July, 2010

UK: Alcohol awareness charity Drinkaware has found that more than half (53%) of parents who plan to provide their 16 and 17 year olds with alcohol for a week long summer holiday with friends will give them five or more bottles of spirits or wine.

The survey of 1000 British parents conducted for the alcohol awareness charity found more than a third (36%) would prefer their child to get alcohol from them rather than an unknown source, and one in five (22%) say they buy their teenager alcohol to keep track of the amount they will drink.

Drinkaware is encouraging parents not to give their children alcohol to drink unsupervised over the summer and to talk to their teenagers about the risks associated with drinking to excess.

According to the survey, parents are happy to give alcohol to their children despite two fifths (41%) knowing that their child has had a bad drinking experience. One in five parents are aware their child has been involved in an accident (20%) or had unprotected sex (21%) when drinking and eight out of 10 (79%) know their child has been sick.

Chris Sorek, chief executive of Drinkaware said: “Lots of 16 and 17 year olds will want to mark the end of exams by celebrating with friends on a trip away, but if parents provide them with alcohol, it could inadvertently put them at risk. Parents might think they’re doing the right thing by ensuring alcohol comes from them instead of somewhere else, but when young people drink to excess it can compromise their personal safety and increase the chances of them having unprotected sex or being involved in an accident.

“Parents have a huge influence on their children’s attitudes to alcohol, often without even realising it and two thirds of parents are not aware of the advice surrounding young people and alcohol. To help their children stay safe, parents should avoid giving them alcohol for unsupervised holidays and talk to them about possible risks. This summer, we’d encourage parents to visit the Drinkaware website for practical advice about talking to children about alcohol.”

Parents looking for advice about young people and alcohol can visit the dedicated ‘parents’ section of the Drinkaware website at

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