October 24, 2014

Parents urged to teach children about booze risks

When the weather’s hot, some Nebraskans might pop a cold one to cool off, but this time of year especially, parents are encouraged to talk with their kids about the dangers of underage drinking.

DeAnn Decker, a substance abuse educator, says during the summer months, the chances double a child will try alcohol for the first time.

“We want to get the message out that if parents talk, kids will listen,” Decker says. “Summer is a time when kids have much more freedom, more free time with their friends, more peers around them and more of a chance that they can have that opportunity to have alcohol accessible.”

She says parents should talk to their children early – as young as age nine – about the dangers of alcohol. There are a number of places online that offer tips on how parents can handle the topic and best reach their kids.

One website she recommends is: www.WhatDoYouThrowAway.org

“It’s a great campaign they can go to and see the different things that you throw away if you drink alcohol and use drugs,” Decker says. “It shows you can lose honor, respect, your life, your friends and your family.”

Decker says studies show kids who think their parents would disapprove of using substances like drugs and alcohol are less likely to try them.