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Half of parents in the UK give their children alcohol at home

By Megan Rose

Half of parents in the UK with children under 14 admit to giving them alcohol at home, according to new research.

Over a third, 34%, said they used alcohol as a bribe for good behaviour, according to the study by Churchill home insurance. One in five parents also said that they would allow other minors to drink while in their home.

Many parents stated that it was a way for them to control their child’s alcohol consumption in a safe environment. It also gave them the opportunity to teach their children about responsible alcohol use.

Martin Scott, head of Churchill home, said ‘the challenge any parent will recognise is how to prevent excessive drinking, especially amongst teenagers.’

Although it isn’t illegal for 5-16 year olds in the UK to drink alcohol at home, some have warned that allowing them to drink from a young age could increase future health risks.

Joanna Simons, Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern, said: ‘we know that many parents start from the best intentions when they introduce children to alcohol at home, but all the research indicates that the younger that children start drinking, the more likely they are to have problems with alcohol in later life.’

Behaviour that stems from alcohol abuse includes violence, aggression and suicide attempts.

However, the research found that a third of parents felt that introducing alcohol in a secure way helped them monitor their child’s alcohol consumption.

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Image: Public Domain