Parents who buy booze for end-of-exam holidays are putting their children in danger, according to new research by a leading alcohol charity.
The research, carried out by Drinkaware, revealed that nearly 40 per cent of parents would provide alcohol for an end-of-exam holiday if requested.
It also revealed that 36 per cent would prefer their child to get alcohol from them rather than an unknown source.
More than one in five parents, some 22 per cent, have bought booze for their children in an attempt to keep tabs on their alcohol consumption.
But Chris Sorek, the charity’s Chief Executive, has warned that parents could be endangering their children by supplying them with booze for end of exam holidays.
Mr Sorek said: “Lots of 16 and 17-year-olds will want to mark the end of exams by celebrating with friends on a trip away, but if parents provide them with alcohol, it could inadvertently put them at risk.
“Parents might think they’re doing the right thing by ensuring alcohol comes from them instead of somewhere else, but when young people drink to excess it can compromise their personal safety and increase the chances of them having unprotected sex or being involved in an accident.
“Parents have a huge influence on their children’s attitudes to alcohol, often without even realising it.”
The charity’s research, which was based on 1,000 parents, also revealed that despite their willingness to supply booze many parents are all too familiar with the consequences of binge drinking.
The parental survey revealed that 79 per cent of the respondents’ children had been sick due to excessive drinking, and 21 per cent had had unprotected sex.
Parents also reported that 20 per cent of the youngsters had been involved in an accident as a result of drinking, and that 6 per cent had been involved in an alcohol fuelled fight.
Earlier this year it was revealed that children as young as eleven were drinking the equivalent of nearly two bottles of wine a week.
The survey of England’s regional drinking habits, released by the NHS Information Centre, measured the average alcohol consumption figures for children based on those who had drunk alcohol in the last week.
The survey, conducted between 2006 and 2008, revealed that the North East was the worst performing region in England, with one in four 11 to 15-year-olds drinking.
Children who drink in the North East consume an average of nearly two bottles of wine a week or eight pints of lager, although the survey also revealed that the region’s young people were the least likely to have taken cannabis.