Friday, December 29, 2006

Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol Free

Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol Free, a unique coalition of Governor's spouses, Federal agencies and public and private organizations, is an initiative to prevent the use of alcohol by children ages 9 to 15. It is the only national effort focusing on alcohol use in this age group.

On this coalition's web site are some alarming statistics:

The Child
  • Each day, 7,000 kids in the United States under the age of 16 take their first drink.
  • Of the people who begin drinking before age 14, 47% become dependent at some point.
  • 63% of 8th graders and 83% of 10th graders believe that alcohol is readily available.
  • Almost 20% of 8th graders and 41% of 10th graders have been drunk at least once.
  • Ninth grade girls now report consuming about as much as ninth grade boys.
  • 33.9% of ninth graders reported consuming alcohol before they were age 13.
  • 5th through 11th graders exposed to alcohol advertisements have favorable beliefs about alcohol and say they are more likely to consume more alcohol.
The Family
  • Before the age of 18, 25% of children are exposed to family alcoholism, addiction or alcohol abuse.
  • Children of alcoholics are more likely to initiate adolescent drinking and develop alcohol disorders.
  • Parents drinking behaviors have initiated adolescent drinking.
  • Children are less likely to drink with positive parent interaction and clear expectations.
  • Drinking during pregnancy presents a risk to the fetus.
  • Older siblings alcohol use influences younger siblings
Teachers, principals, coaches, guidance counselors and school resource officers play important roles in preventing underage drinking. Schools must establish alcohol awareness and policies that set clear expectations and consequences. Students must be keenly aware that underage drinking is not acceptable behavior.

Click to visit Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol Free

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