Underage Alcohol Use Expected to Double during the Fourth of July Weekend

Someone doesn't want beer on barbecueEmergency room visits for underage alcohol use may nearly double during the Fourth of July weekend according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, a public health surveillance system that monitors drug-related hospital emergency visits.

Results from an average day in July 2008 found that there were 502 emergency room visits involving underage alcohol use across the U.S. However, during the 3-day Fourth of July weekend, the number of daily visits jumped to 938 an increase of 87%.

Scientists are beginning to learn that it takes a brain about 25 years to fully develop, and that a huge burst of development happens during adolescence. That burst can explain a lot of unpredictable and sometimes risky teen behavior. As your teen’s judgment skills are developing, it’s important to keep them safe by setting clear limits backed up with firm consequences. Here are a few things you can do to help prevent your teen from drinking alcohol this holiday weekend:

1.Talk with your child about alcohol facts, reasons not to drink, and ways to avoid drinking in difficult situations.

2.Keep tabs on your young teens activities, and join other parents in making common policies about teen alcohol use.

3.Develop family rules about teen drinking and establish consequences.

4.Set a good example regarding your own alcohol use and your response to teen drinking.

5.Encourage your child to develop healthy friendships and fun alternatives to drinking.

6.Believe in your own power to help your child avoid alcohol use.

The Partnership family wishes you and yours a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend!

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    Midwestern Mama

    July 3, 2015 at 10:14 AM

    These are startling, but not surprising, statistics. Thank you for compiling such timely information as we head into the long, holiday weekend. It’s easy for parents and other adults of influence to get wrapped up in their own fun leaving teens and young adults to their own devices.

    I’m planning to share these with the #OYACommunity starting today and throughout the weekend as part of our #SoberSummer initiative.

    In particular, the tip I like best is joining together with other parents – we tried this to no avail when our middle kid was using. Regardless, I think it has the highest potential for success. If parents are on the same page, it creates a neighborhood or community that sticks together with consistent messages about the dangers and consequences of alcohol and drug use.

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