WBTV Speak Out Editorial: Children Under the Influence - | WBTV Charlotte

WBTV Speak Out Editorial: Children Under the Influence

“Speak Out” is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.

Parents, 2015 is on its way.

So we invite you to “ring in the new year” by having a drink with your kids.

You haven't heard? The average child starts drinking before age 14…that's middle school.

38% of eighth graders have tried alcohol at least once…10% of 12-year-olds.

By the time they reach 15, half of our children have had a drink.

What's more, recent data shows that 16% of 13 to 18-year-olds are “binge drinkers,”

consuming 5-10 alcoholic beverages a night, week after week.

That's particularly damaging since adolescent brains are still developing.

What's more, the number one cause of death in adolescence is traffic accidents, primarily due to drunk driving.

So, what can we parents do about it?

Well, talk to our children.

They want to have that talk.

Nine out of 10 middle schoolers say if parents spoke more often about underage drinking, it would help stop the problem.

And, lead by example.

Watch your own alcohol consumption.

Never drink and drive.

So, this New Year's Eve, sit down with your child, have the conversation…

And then share a drink…of hot chocolate or cider!

For more information on what you can do, visit TalkItOutNC.org.

Tell us what you think, SpeakOut@wbtv.com.  
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