Why Should You Care?

Why Should You Care?
Health Dangers
More Risks To Teens
Parents & Community Risks
Other Stories

Growing up is risky business. That’s why, as a parent, you’re always working to keep your child safe from danger. From their first baby steps to the first car keys, you are there for them—teaching life skills and setting limits so your son or daughter will succeed and thrive.

Parenting gets more challenging when kids reach adolescence. Teens naturally push their limits, test boundaries, and make choices that baffle and worry parents. They begin to look more mature and grown-up, so it’s easy to be fooled into thinking that they will behave like adults. But they don’t, especially when it comes to alcohol.4,5

Of all the dangers your teen faces, underage drinking is among the worst. Whether teens are experimenting with beer, wine, or other liquor, alcohol presents a serious—and potentially deadly—threat. Compared with non-drinking classmates, teens who drink are more likely to: 24,5

  • Die in a car crash
  • Get pregnant
  • Flunk school
  • Be sexually assaulted
  • Become an alcoholic later in life
  • Take their own life through suicide

The longer your child waits to start drinking,
the safer he or she will stay.


1. Hingson, Ralph W. and Wenxing Zha. “Age of Drinking Onset, Alcohol Use Disorders, Frequent Heavy Drinking, and Unintentionally Injuring Oneself and Others After Drinking” Pediatrics Vol. 123 No. 6 June 2009, pp. 1477-1484 (Published online May 26, 2009) Read more

2. Ralph W. Hingson, Zha, Wenxing, Weitzman Elissa R. “Magnitude of and Trends in Alcohol-Related Mortality and Morbidity Among U.S. College Students Ages 18-24, 1998-2005” J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs, Supplement No. 16: 12-20,2009. Read more

3. Hingson, Ralph W. et al. “Age of Alcohol-Dependence Onset: Associations With Severity of Dependence and Seeking Treatment.” Pediatrics 2006; 118;e755-e763.

4. Miller et al. “Binge Drinking and Associated Health Risk Behaviors Among High School Students,” Pediatrics (2007) 119:1. Read more

5. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), Alcohol Alert #67. Read more

6. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking 2007. Read more


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