Parents warned not to let kids drink booze too early

Parents who let their children try alcohol too early could be doing them more harm than good.

A new study shows letting youth drink too early can ruin their life course. Source: 1 NEWS

An Australian study reveals 12 and 13-year-olds drinking even tiny amounts can lead to heavier consumption by 16.

Today Auckland teenagers told ONE News that "12 and 13-years is possibly too young" and that "their bodies can't really handle the alcohol at that age".

When speaking to adults, parents were also on the same page telling ONE News "probably around 17 or 18" and "at home" would be the ideal situation to introduce alcohol to their children.

The study found 12 to 13-year-olds who were given even small sips by their parents were nearly three times more likely to be drinking full serves of alcohol by age 16.

It also found that once teens were introduced to booze by their parents they were 15 times more likely to get it from other sources in order to keep drinking.

Alcohol Healthwatch director Rebecca Williams says "the best advice parents can take is to delay that onset of consumption as long as you possibly can".

Alcohol Healthwatch recommends teens stay alcohol free until at least 16, and that parents should watch their behaviour too.

"Don't get drunk in front of your kids. Don't make out you can't have a social conversation or social engagement without drinking."