Drinking rules ‘change’ on holiday

A new survey has found that the rules over letting children drink appear to change when families go on holiday.

holiday drinkingThe research, carried out by travel agent sunshine.co.uk, found that 26% of parents surveyed said they had let children under 18 drink alcohol when they were on foreign trips. Of these parents, the majority (55%) had given the go ahead for 15 to 17-year-olds. A total of 23% had allowed 12 to 14-year-olds to drink alcohol, while 18% had let nine to 11-year-olds do so and 3% had given permission to six to eight-year- olds.

A total of 1,782 British parents, each with a child under the age of 18, who had been away with their children on a foreign trip in the last 12 months, were involved in the survey.

Asked why they had allowed their under-age child to drink alcohol abroad, the main reason given was that they thought it was legal abroad. Others reckoned it was easier to get away with it abroad, while some wanted their children to have fun on holiday.

Sunshine.co.uk managing director Chris Clarkson said: “Parents that think the legal drinking age differs abroad should always check their facts, because in most places it’s still 18 or 21.

“A glass of wine with a meal for a teenager is sometimes acceptable, but letting your underage child get drunk, especially in a strange environment, is very irresponsible, not to mention dangerous.”

This survey comes as research suggests that the number of youngsters in England who have tried alcohol is falling. Last month a poll published by the Office for National Statistics and Health and Social Care Information Centre found that only two-fifths of children aged 11-15 had ever drunk alcohol, compared to 61% in 2002.

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