Brit kids, as young as five, to get lessons on alcohol dangers

November 25th, 2007 - 11:20 am ICT by admin  

London, Nov 25 (ANI): British children, as young as five, will be taught about the harmful effects of alcohol in an effort to tackle the nations growing binge-drinking problem.

Pupils from primary school onwards will get lessons in the destructive effects of alcohol, the influence of advertising and safe drinking levels.

Parents will also be receiving training in talking to their children about alcohol, and how to set limits for them, under guidance from the National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence (Nice).

The guidance came after a survey found that one in 20 children aged 10 and 11 have had a heavy drinking session in the past four weeks.

Among 14 and 15-year-olds, the number rose above a third.

Nice recommends that the children identified as heavy drinkers should be given one-to-one sessions of counselling

Dr Nick Sheron, a liver physician in Southampton and secretary of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said: “Teach children about alcohol so they can be informed but don’t expect that if you tell children not to drink that they are going to take a blind bit of notice.

“If you want children to stop binge drinking you have to make it harder for them to get hold of and make it more expensive.”

Nice will issue the guidance on school-based programmes to reduce alcohol use in young people on Nov 29.

The final draft of the guidance recommended that education about alcohol should be included in science lessons and personal, social and health education sessions, which start at the age of five.

Picking up the early signals of any sort of addiction, whether it is alcohol or drugs, is something that teachers do on a regular basis, the Telegraph quoted Mick Brook, General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers.

But clearly the prime responsibility of spotting these signs has to lie with the parents. We cannot load yet more responsibilities on teachers’ shoulders, he added. (ANI)

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