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Correct handling of beer or schnapps: parenting advice on alcohol concerns in children


Alcohol worries in children: experts advise parents
In recent years it has been shown that children and adolescents drink less today, but many parents are concerned that their offspring could consume too much alcohol. Parents can get expert advice on a telephone hotline from the health insurance company DAK-Gesundheit.

Experts advise on the phone
Excessive alcohol consumption seems to be less popular among adolescents these days than it was a few years ago, but that is by no means the all-clear. As a representative survey of parents by DAK-Gesundheit showed, a fifth of all parents in Germany are worried that their children could drink too much alcohol. The health insurance company will set up a telephone hotline on March 14, under which experts can be reached who will advise on the subject.

Tens of thousands of adolescents had to go to hospital for alcohol poisoning
As the health insurance company wrote in a message, in 2015 around 22,000 children and adolescents nationwide came to the hospital with acute alcohol poisoning.

According to scientists, the alcohol consumption of minors is significantly influenced by the parents.

So what can parents do to protect their children from so-called binge drinking? And how much alcohol can mothers and fathers drink themselves to be considered a good example? When is alcohol consumption risky for your own health?

Parents can get answers to these and other questions from a current DAK-Gesundheit telephone hotline. Medical experts advise on March 14 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. The insured persons of all health insurance companies can use the service offer on the free number 0800 1111 841.

Alcohol consumption influenced by parents
"With our hotline, we inform mothers and fathers how they can best deal with alcohol in their families," said Andreas Storm, CEO of DAK-Gesundheit.

Children's alcohol consumption is strongly influenced by the parents. If the parents consume alcohol regularly, the risk of intoxication increases for their children. "As a health insurance company, prevention is very important to us, so we want to clearly identify risks and offer help."

The consultation hotline is supplemented by a live chat on Facebook, where Professor Reiner Hanewinkel, head of the Institute for Therapy and Health Research, provides information about the latest study results.

"If we manage to delay adolescents' entry into alcohol consumption by a few years, it will already have a positive effect," says Hanewinkel.

According to the DAK parent survey, 34 percent of parents still have their children try alcohol at the age of fourteen or fifteen.

Practice proper alcohol handling with the children
According to some experts, parents should not simply rely on bans or legal regulations, but rather practice alcohol handling with their children.

What is meant here is that young people are taught, for example, that alcohol is drunk on special occasions and in company, says Johannes Lindenmeyer, search expert and founder of the project “Better smart than blue”.

The right framework to learn this would be Grandma's birthday, on which young people under 16 years of age could also toast with a glass of sparkling wine under the supervision of their parents. (ad)

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