Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, urges parents of Junior Cert students receiving their results today to talk with their children about their celebratory plans and to discuss a simple ‘stay safe’ guide with them.
The call comes as new research shows that the average age of first drinking by children in Ireland is 14 years-of-age – two years earlier than children born a decade ago.
The charity’s director Fiona Ryan said: “Students receiving their results deserve to go out and celebrate the end of a tough exam season. For some, these plans will involve alcohol – many could feel that they have to drink to celebrate and even feel under pressure to do so.
“We would urge young people to above all be safe and be aware that not everyone is drinking. For those young people who do choose to drink, we would ask that they stay safe and follow some simple guidelines such as: knowing how to get home, teaming up with a friend – using a buddy system and avoiding risky situations including getting into a car with a driver who has been drinking.”
Speaking as an estimated 56,000 young people receive their Junior Certificate results, Ms Ryan added: “It’s important for parents to recognise that their child may end up in situations in which he or she may feel uncomfortable or scared as a result of either his or her own drinking or other people’s drinking.
“We would urge parents to let their teens know that if they find themselves in trouble, as a parent tell them you would much prefer they call home than fear the consequences of their drinking. Alcohol Action Ireland’s website www.alcoholireland.ie has tips on how to talk with your child about alcohol.”
For further information or comment contact:
Communications Officer Cathy Gray (01) 878 0610/ 087 995 0186
Notes to the editor
- The average age of first drinking by children born in 1980 was 16 years of age, while the average age of first drinking by children born in 1990 is 14 years of age.