One-in-six British parents allows their under-15 to drink, contrary to official advice, with the educated, employed and white more likely to do so, according to a UK study.
The official guidance is that children should not drink alcohol before the age of 15, and from then up to the age of 17 only at a very low level, at most one day a week. Exposure to alcohol at any age tends to make us worse at controlling our future intake.
By the age of 14 around half of children in the UK had tried more than a few sips. Drinking below 14 is associated with greater chances of injury, involvement in violence, and suicidal thoughts and attempts.
Overall the level of drinking among children and young adults seems to be declining, perhaps because of technology. ■