Las visitas al hospital por consumo de alcohol entre menores aumentan el fin de semana del 4 de Julio
El número de visitas a las salas de emergencias asociadas con menores de edad aumenta unas cuatro veces en el fin de semana del 4 de Julio, según plantea un nuevo estudio estadounidense.
Un análisis de datos de 2008 encontró que las visitas a las salas de emergencias por consumo de alcohol entre menores fue 87 por ciento más alta el fin de semana del 4 de Julio que un día normal de julio, 938 visitas frente a 502, dijo la Administración de Servicios de Salud Mental y Abuso de Sustancias de EE. UU.
«El consumo de alcohol entre menores no es un pase de acceso inofensivo. Sus consecuencias tienen grandes implicaciones. Además de las visitas a las salas de emergencias, lesiones, arrestos y el bochorno, unas 5,000 muertes entre menores de 21 se relacionan con el consumo de alcohol cada año», dijo en un comunicado de prensa de la agencia Pamela S. Hyde, administradora de la SAMHSA.
«Los padres son la principal influencia en la decisión que toman sus hijos para evitar el alcohol. Para ayudar a los padres a que la difícil tarea de criar a los hijos sea un poco más fácil, la SAMHSA proporciona un plan de acción en línea para ayudar a los padres a hablar con sus hijos sobre las expectativas con respecto al uso del alcohol», agregó Hyde.
Start talking before they start drinking
Between the ages of 9 and 13, children start to think differently about alcohol. Many children begin to think underage drinking is OK and some even start to experiment. It’s never too early to talk to your children about alcohol, and encourage them to talk with you.1
Over 70% of children say parents are the leading influence in their decision to drink or not.2
Talking early can make a real difference
Children become curious and some try drinking as early as 9 years old.
Before age 9, children typically view drinking negatively. Between the ages of 9 and 13, they start to view alcohol more positively.1 Children become more aware of the drinking behavior of their parents and other adults. They often start asking questions about alcohol.
Conversation is often more effective before children start drinking.
The reason most children choose not to drink is because their parents talked to them about it.2 If you talk to them directly and honestly, they are more likely to respect your rules and advice about alcohol use.3
Children who start drinking at a young age are more likely to have problems with alcohol later in life.
Children who begin drinking before age 15 are seven times more likely to abuse alcohol or to have alcohol problems as adults.4 By starting a conversation about alcohol early, you can stop them from making a decision that could potentially harm their health and future.
The chance that children will use alcohol increases as they get older.
Around 10% of 12-year-olds say they’ve tried alcohol, but by age 15 that number jumps to 50%. The sooner you talk to your child about alcohol, the greater chance you have of impacting his or her decisions about drinking.5
If you don’t talk about it, you’re saying something.
What you say to your child about alcohol use is up to you. But remember, if you don’t say anything to your child about drinking, you might give the impression that underage drinking is acceptable.
Why Children start drinking?
There are many reasons why children start drinking
As children approach their teen years, they begin to experience many emotional and physical changes – changes that are not always easy.1 During this challenging and confusing time, even good children may experiment with alcohol.
For most children, it’s not just one thing that influences them to drink, but a combination of factors.2
Life events, like going from middle school to high school, breaking up with a significant other, moving, or divorce, can cause a child to turn to alcohol.8 Reassure your child that things will get easier, and make sure he or she knows that drinking isn’t a solution.
As children begin spending more time with their peers and less time with their parents, this increased freedom can lead to drinking.5 While it’s important to give your child space, keep track of where they are and who they’re with. If they are at a friend’s house, make sure a responsible adult is nearby or accessible.
Taking chances and trying new things are a normal part of growing up. For some children, this exploration includes experimenting with alcohol.6 Remind your child about the real risks of underage drinking, and make sure he or she knows how you feel about underage drinking.
When children worry about things like grades, fitting in, and physical appearance, they may use alcohol as a way to escape their problems.3 Encourage your child to get involved in sports or other extracurricular activities as a healthier way to cope.4
If children grow up in an environment where adults drink excessively, they are more likely to drink themselves.9 If you choose to drink, set a good example by drinking in moderation, and make sure your child knows that underage drinking is not acceptable.
Children who are disruptive, hyperactive, or depressed are at a higher risk for alcohol problems.11 If you feel that your child’s social issues could lead him or her to abuse alcohol, consider having your child see a drug and alcohol counselor.
Most children feel pressure to be popular and fit in. Many try alcohol when they are in a social setting where «everyone else is doing it.»7 Help boost your child’s confidence by helping them learn different ways to say «no,» and reminding them that real friends wouldn’t pressure them to drink.
Children who come from a family with a history of alcoholism are at an increased risk for alcohol dependence. If alcoholism runs in your family, have an honest discussion with your child, and make sure he or she understands the seriousness of the disease.10
Know the Risks
Underage drinking has serious consequences
Based on new scientific findings, we understand more now than we used to about the dangers of underage drinking. When children drink, they tend to drink a lot. On average, they have about five drinks on a single occasion. This not only puts them at risk for a variety of short- and long-term physical and emotional problems, it also affects and endangers the lives of those around them.1
Children who drink underage are more likely to:
More than 67% of young people who start drinking before the age of 15 will try an illicit drug.2
Become addicted to alcohol.
More than 4 in 10 people who begin drinking before age 15 eventually become dependent on alcohol.3
Get bad grades.
Children who use alcohol have higher rates of academic problems and poor school performance compared to nondrinkers.4
Suffer injury or even death.
In the U.S., an estimated 5,000 individuals under age 21 die each year from injuries caused by underage drinking.5 This includes death from car crashes, homicides, and suicide, as well as from injuries such as falls, burns, and drownings.6
Engage in risky sexual activity.
Teens who use alcohol are more likely than teens who don’t drink to be sexually active at earlier ages, to have sexual intercourse more often, and to have unprotected sex.7
Be a victim of a violent or sexual crime.
Children who drink are more likely to become victims of rape, aggravated assault, and robbery.8
Make bad decisions.
Drinking lowers inhibitions and increases the chances that children will engage in risky behavior or do something that they will regret when they are sober.9
Have health problems.
Young people who drink are more likely to have health issues such as depression and anxiety disorders.10 Even low levels of alcohol use can contribute to emotional, behavioral, and health problems both during adolescence and later in life.