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Youth drink guide for parents

3rd June 2008

The government is to provide parents with guidance about the amount of alcoholic beverages their children can drink.

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The youth alcohol action plan is intended to help teenagers consume alcoholic drinks in a "more responsible way".

The plan will also target establishments which provide alcohol to underage drinkers and aims to decrease public consumption of alcohol.

Places which serve alcohol to underage drinkers will face a "two strikes" rule.

The UK's chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, will be consulted in order to give parents data regarding the amount of alcohol their children can "safely" drink.

Parents who are not able to stop children abusing alcohol could face prosecution and teenage drinkers could be given anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos).

The police force will be able to "disperse" groups of young people who gather in public areas.

The government's Children Secretary Ed Balls, introduced the plan and said he wanted to see a "culture change" in attitudes to drinking.

"We need to fundamentally influence young people's behaviour and attitudes towards alcohol...parents tell us they want better, clearer information as they bring up their children," he said.

Government data shows that the amount of 11 to 15-year-olds who drink on a regular basis had decreased from 28% in 2001 to 21% in 2006.

Young people who drank alcohol regularly were drinking more - from 5.3 units in 1990 to 11.4 units in 2006.

Sir Liam said that young people who drank were "probably unaware of the damage they are doing to their health".

 

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