Help child avoid drink

PUBLISHED: 17:01 29 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:39 25 May 2010

STEP up child supervision and introduce drinking rules - that is the advice being given to parents to stop their children falling victim of alcohol abuse.

STEP up child supervision and introduce drinking rules - that is the advice being given to parents to stop their children falling victim of alcohol abuse.

NHS health experts in the region claim most families leave it too late to warn their offspring about the dangers of drinking.

As a result, advisors from NHS Somerset and NHS North Somerset are giving their backing to a Government parental campaign, headed by comedians Bill Bailey and Jo Brand.

It follows shock figures from the Department of Health which show 6,000 children under the age of 15 ended up in hospital after drinking alcohol last year.

The statistics also revealed 20million alcohol units are consumed each week by 11-17 year olds.

NHS Somerset public health consultant Paul Harwood said: "Drinking has a harmful effect on a child's development and during their teenage years it is related to a wide range of health and social problems.

"Parents and carers should start by introducing rules and supervision and warning their children early on about the potential dangers."

NHS North Somerset health improvement manager Jan Bond added: "The rapid raise of regular drinking amongst young people is worrying.

"Parents and carers have a central role in influencing a child's use of alcohol."

Advice to parents is that they should help their child plan nights out and urge them to stay with a friend during a night where they are likely to drink.

Other tips include using only a trusted taxi company, let parents know where they will be and avoid aggressive people.

Parents who want extra support and advice can visit the campaign's website at www.itsnojoke.tv

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