A new study shows that 709,000 kids in the United States, aged 12 to 14, are drinking beer, liquor and other alcoholic beverages. But what's more surprising is that they aren't just getting it from friends; a large percentage of youngsters are getting their alcohol from their parents.
In the past month, more than 200,000 kids were given alcohol by a parent or other adult family member, according to a report from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
"About 5.9 percent of 12 to 14-year-olds have used alcohol in the past month," said Peter Delany, director of SAMHSA's Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. "That's a pretty large number."
"And almost all of these kids got that alcohol for free," he said. "45 percent got alcohol from a parent or other family member or they took it from their home without permission."
Why parents are giving their kids alcohol is unknown, but a frequent explanation is parents saying they'd rather have their child drink at home than somewhere else.
"If you drink alcohol before the age of 15 you are about five times more likely to experience a serious problem with alcohol or other drug use at or after the age of 21," he explained. "That's why so many prevention programs are trying to delay kids from using alcohol, because the older you are [when you start drinking], the more judgment you have, and the less likely you are to develop problems later in life."
Momlogic wants to know -- have you given your underage child alcohol at home? Why?