Ahead of the release of Junior Certificate results tomorrow, health experts are urging parents to speak to their children about alcohol.
A new report by Drink Aware has found that parents are the biggest influence on a young person decision around drinking.
It has also been revealed that 20% of parents feel it is a good idea to introduce children to alcohol at home before the age of 18.
Drink Aware is encouraging parents to talk openly with their children about any celebration plans for tomorrow night, and set rules together.
The following advice for parents and guardians has been issued to help ensure this Junior Cert results night is a safe one:Challenge the ‘norm’: The reality is that not every young person will drink alcohol on results night. In fact, alcohol consumption rates among young people in Ireland are decreasing.Talk openly about their plans: Who is going? Where is it? How will they get home? Will alcohol be available? What time is their curfew?The law is clear: It is against the law for anyone under the age of 18 to buy alcohol or pretend that they are over 18 in order to buy or drink alcohol.Set rules for the night together: You should both be fully aware of your rules in relation to alcohol. What are the consequences for breaking the rules?Engage with other parents: Talk to the parents of your child’s friends and ensure you are familiar with their rules about alcohol.Safety is key: Remind your child that they can call or text you if they feel unsafe or unwell at any point during the night.Provide an alternative to a night out: Could you host a party in your home? If so, remember that it is illegal to serve alcohol to minors and parental supply of alcohol is associated with increased risks.
Miriam Taber, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Drinkaware said: “The Junior Cert results are a fantastic achievement and of course, should be celebrated but these young people are about 15 years old, which is too young to be drinking alcohol and we should not accept that alcohol is synonymous with these events."