The advice from England’s Chief Medical Officer is that “Children and their parents and carers are advised that an alchohol-free childhood is the healthiest and best option. However, if children drink alcohol it should not be until at least the age of 15 years”.
Children’s bodies and brains are still developing well into the teenage years and beyond. The CMO guidance outlines some of the risks to children’s physical and mental health from drinking alcohol, from risky behaviour to low mood and depression.
As parents we have more influence than we might think in setting boundaries for our children. Balance has produced a free Guide for Parents which covers the Chief Medical Officer guidance, the myths and the facts, and gives advice on how parents can talk to their child about alcohol.