Kids who taste alcohol will start drinking early

Kids who taste alcohol will start drinking early
Highlights

Kids Who Taste Alcohol Will Start Drinking Early. Kids who sip drinks now and then, tend to start drinking earlier than those who don\'t.

Washington: Kids who sip drinks now and then, tend to start drinking earlier than those who don't. Researchers found that, of 561 students in a long-term study, those who'd "sipped" alcohol by 6th grade were 5 times more likely than their peers to down a full drink by the time they were in high school. And they were four times more likely to have binged or been drunk.

However, lead researcher Kristina Jackson, Ph.D, said that it does not prove that early sips of alcohol are to blame, and they weren't trying to say whether it was "OK" or "not OK" for parents to allow this.

The findings are based on middle school students who were surveyed periodically over 3 years. According to Jackson, it's possible that those little tastes of alcohol send young kids a "mixed message."

At that age, some kids may have difficulty understanding the difference between a sip of wine and having a full beer, she explained, stressing that parents shouldn't be alarmed if they've already let their child have a taste of wine. But, she added, the findings do highlight the importance of giving kids "clear, consistent messages" about drinking and making sure they can't get a hold of any alcohol kept in the house.

The study is published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

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