John Donovan, Ph. D., of the University of Pittsburgh gathered data
from four surveys on children and alcohol ranging from the 1990s until 2005. He says more and more children are drinking at a young age.
Donovan said even though most children don’t use alcohol on a regular basis, the number of children who have used alcohol rises between grades four and six.
This would suggest that primary preventive interventions for child alcohol use would be best targeted in fifth grade to reduce or delay this pattern of early onset,"
Donovan writes in September's edition of the journal Prevention Science.
In a most recent survey conducted from 2004-2005 included 25,000 students showed that about 7% of fourth graders, 8% of fifth graders, and 13% of sixth graders had drunk beer, liquor, or wine coolers.
An earlier survey in 1998 showed among 1,500 sixth grade students, 62% of boys and 58% of girls have tasted alcohol.
The surveys don’t say where they drank alcohol; some may have sipped a wine or tasted alcohols in weddings or religious ceremonies. Donovan said, wherever they drink, it is best to talk about alcohol use to children at an early age rather than wait when they are teenagers, which may become late at that time.
Donovan just wants to report this so there won’t be any misconceptions that only a few children will drink.
I think it all starts at home, when parents drink too much in front of children; the children tend to follow them. When the beer and wine is all around the home, it becomes tempting for any who live there. It is better to taught them about drinking from a young age, so they become responsible in drinking at a later stage. My parents never drank in front of us, so it made it easier for us growing up.
Do you see such problems in your neighborhood?