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Help Your Kids Resist TV Alcohol Ads

Help Your Kids Resist TV Alcohol Ads

An average broadcast of an NFL football game contains 11 minutes of players-in-motion and 60 minutes of advertising. So, what do your kids really see when they watch those games? Lots of ads that depict drinking alcohol as cool and link that alcohol directly to success and happiness.

Over a billion dollars is spent each year on beer ads during broadcast sporting events (and other programs) that children, teens and young adults watch. So it’s little wonder that the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that around 24 percent of kids ages 12 to 20 years old say they drank alcohol in the last month and around 15 percent admit to binge drinking. Meanwhile, 190,000 kids under age 21 land in the ER every year from alcohol-related accidents. 

Related: How Drugs and Alcohol Affect Teenage Development

What can you do to help your kids understand how risky it is to drink when your brain is still developing and your future can be permanently altered? Plenty. Studies show setting a good example, establishing rules, welcoming open conversations about drinking.

Here's how to share the tough facts on the risks so that it makes a difference:

  • Explain that when teens drink it changes parts of the brain that control memory, learning, and decision making. And the damage from teenage drinking isn’t temporary, it persists into adulthood. If you are a stupid drunk tonight, you’ll be just plain stupid 15 years from now! 
  • Point out that if teens hold off now, when they turn 21, they’ll have the good judgment they need to drink responsibly, which means no more than one glass of wine a day for women and two for men.
  • Then -- cheers all around!

Related: How Can I Protect my Teen From Alcohol Abuse?

Medically reviewed in May 2019.

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