It is never too early to discuss with your child the dangers from alcohol as the rise in under age drinking has become quite alarming.
Over eight thousand children in 2007 were taken to hospital because of the effects of drink.
Like most things, setting a good example is key and when there is a heavy drinker within the family, it is better to be honest rather than skirt the issue.
Zara McQueen of Action on Addiction believes honesty is the best policy especially as most children are quite perceptive. If they see the consequences of alcohol abuse for themselves, it will help them to make more informed choices as they get older.
Education in schools about this subject is much better than in previous decades and if you can reinforce what is being taught in the classroom then that gives the best possible guidelines to your offspring.
Do not avoid talking about drinking, share your experience and it will help your children to avoid peer pressure because they will develop a very objective viewpoint about the whole subject of alcohol.
Figures suggest that one in every ten adolescents drink more than 10 units a week and that binge drinking is becoming more common amongst teenagers. If someone is drinking heavily at sixteen they will often move onto drugs, become alcoholic and ultimately end up involved in criminal activity.
There is no need to frighten your child by throwing the statistics at them, a gentler approach works much better. At some stage, they will witness drunken behavior, be it at a family wedding or other social events.