back to article UK gov to issue child boozing guidelines

The government is to tackle the potential menace posed to society by kids boozing at home - legal from the age of five under "parental supervision" - by issuing guidelines offering "clearer health information for parents on how drinking alcohol at a young age can affect children and young people". According to the BBC, mums and …

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Pirate

Alchohol?

"Don Shenker of Alcohol Concern explained it was unclear what constituted a "safe level" of alcohol for the under-15s, and accordingly advised that young-uns "should have no more than a small sip of alcohol"."

or, in stead of a small sip of chemically pure ethanol you could let them have a mouthfull of mommy's or daddy's wine/beer glass. If nothing else it'll mean they won't want to try it again for at least a year.

Pirate, because only scandinavian's drink the chemically pure stuff, which I understand they get from spanish bootleggers too fond of their own throats to drink the stuff themselves.

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The Tory is right...

It is just another excuse for meddling and nagging. I'm sure we're all fed up with it by now.

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Silver badge

but no-one drinks "alcohol"

and the term "alcoholic drink" covers everything from shandy to absinthe.

It seems to me that the first step towards educating people about the benefits and hazards of getting pissed, is to define what it is we're talking about. For that matter too, hopefully our nanny/overlords will have a sudden attack of common sense and start to realise that the effects on a 12-stone seventeen year-old will be vastly different from the effects of the same amount of booze on a thirty year-old size 0 (i.e. a woman who would've been considered "normal-sized" in the 50's) and temper their advice accordingly: that a "small sip" is right for some, but inadequate for others.

Alternatively, I wonder if it would, just, be possible for the govt. to take a mature and sensible approach to this. The first step would be to recognise that teens will get smashed out of their skulls (and probably not just on C2H5OH) but will get over it. The last thing they need is to feel demonised and isolated. If their families can be sensible and realistic, without the fear of being labeled child-abusers when they dole out a beer or glass of wine on occasion, we may even find that while the UKs kids will get just as drunk as their european counterparts, they will follow their leads and either sleep it off, start talking loudly or just have sex - rather than rampaging through town centres smashing the place up.

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This is not the title you are looking for... [hand wave]

"...it is legal for someone aged over five to consume alcohol ..."

So we have to be prepared for hordes of pissed up toddlers roaming the streets this evening then?

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Silver badge

In the spring?

Way, waaay too late.

That's after the Xmas/New Year celebrations, and so long before the next year's ones that everyone will have completely forgotten by then.

Why not release them at a time when people will actually notice?

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Happy

ha ha

I don't have to worry...the sprog don't like the taste of my single malt.....

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Flame

Waste of taxpayers money

Why are we paying people to come up with this worthless advice? Who do they suppose is going to take any notice of it? In fact the whole concept of govt advice is barmy, no-one in their right mind should trust anything the government says. They are only interested in trying to stay in power, and will advise anything that they think will get them a few more votes. We can't afford this stuff anymore, we need to get rid of these parasites rather than borrowing trillions!

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Bronze badge

At first it makes sense

until you realise it won't actually contain any facts.

It'll be like the safe daily drinking limit which was derived by taking the safe weekly drinking limit and dividing it by seven, ignoring the weekly limit's advice that under no circumstances should you drink seven days a week.

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Thumb Up

It's difficult to believe...

Coming from a long medical background that there are no studies made of alcoholics, in the broadest sense of the word. And as a father of two, that children seem to like to partake of forbidden fruits.

A very occasional sip of beer or wine might be suitable for young children, but I always wonder about the circumstances of those addicted to alcohol or simply the binge drinkers. (At what age they started down the road to physical ruin?)

Seems to me that true medical guidelines would be a good idea. The idea that people would allow any regular drinking in such young..., 5 year olds, is anathema. Then again I occasionally hear of people who give hard drugs to infants and toddlers. Advice to parents concerned with the development and health of their offspring is a very good idea. (I wish that was all parents.)

Personally I always preferred soft drinks when I was growing up, but my parents never kept alcohol in the home until I was in my late teens, and the small amounts they did have even then was kept hidden. I guess I'm probably biased by my upbringing and experiences with seeing firsthand evidence of alcohol abuse. YMMV.

Mine's the one with the MADD sticker on the back.

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jon
IT Angle

wrong website

is this the Reg or the Dailymail?

IT, technology, security or at least something slightly related please!

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Thumb Down

"In their own homes"?

I've never quite got this "in their own homes" thing. Does this mean the Tories plan to legalize cannabis usage by people "in their own homes"? Crack? How about murder? How dare you tell me who I can and can't kill in my own home!

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Silver badge

Actually this could be rather sensible.

This isn't "Nanny State" because the Government is only issuing *guidelines* (rather than attempting some ridiculous and unenforceable heavy-handed nonsense like passing laws making it illegal for a child to drink more than X amount) so it might help children learn that going out and getting blitzed isn't necessary to have a good time.

Of course it does rely on their parents being responsible and not sitting the kids in front of the TV with a couple of tins of Special Brew...

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Joke

WFT!!!

Oh come on... Nanny Sate? WTF are you people smoking. At least you're not trapped in the undersexed prude capital of the world. Here in the US just allowing your child to smell alcohol or even hear you think the word really hard constitutes Child Abuse... Child abuse is taunting them with the deliciousness of booze.

Could someone please let the underage youth in the US drink? Thankfully I've been old enough to legally drink for several years now, but that doesn't mean things don't need changed. Afterall our new overlord The Great and Powerful Brack "Master of the Universe" Obama says its time for change!!!

Now that I've said my bit, time to get wasted. Happy GNU Year!

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Anonymous Coward

Oh Dearie dearie me

Is there no area where the current government will hold back from displaying their complete lack of intelligence? My wife is a School Nurse and her first reaction was "How can they set guidelines as no-one has tested (or is able to test) just what the effects are".

It seems that anecdotal evidence is fine when they want to crack down somewhere but woe-betide anyone who tries to pull them up on poor science (hang on, was that a comment about Global Warming?)

Ah well...plus ca change, etc etc etc

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IT Angle

It's not the Nanny state, it's worse...

Lets face it, there's some *incredibly* ignorant parents out there, if they feed thier kids a junk food diet and wonder why they get fat, do you really think they'll stop to consider the effects of alcohol?

"I never knew it done any harm to the nippers, innit."

It's worse than a Nanny state, it's a state where millions are so badly educated, they've lost all common sense.

It's a vicious circle. Ignorant parents bring up ignorant kids until we end up with a nation of obese morons, just like across the pond...

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Bronze badge
Thumb Down

Something else we should all ignore

We don't need to even wait for these limits to know that they will bear absolutely no relation to reality and be used merely as another stick to beat responsible parents who actually live in the real world. You just know what's going to happen:

1) Doctors and other health professionals will define what is perceived to be a safe limit for any given age group. In order to not appear irresponsible these limits we be set at an ultra-conservative level where there is no prospect of any adverse health implications at all.

2) The politicians will look at these limits, and using their superior knowledge of the human body compared to those ignorant experts will adjust the limits to 30% of whatever they were actually set at.

3) The Daily Express will hear about these new limits. Since their hacks are much smarter that the health experts and the government combined they will launch a blizzard of articles about how the government does not care about children's health and is encouraging underage drinking.

4) The government, seeing a wave of ill informed bad press, will pretend that the original figures were released in error and set new limits that are 30% of the already reduced figures. In other words, 10% of the already conservative figures giving by the experts.

5) Parents will see these guidelines for what they actually are and give them as much credibility as they deserve. However whenever there is any health issue affecting their kids the doctors will note that the kids are drinking more than the official guidance and accuse the parents of incompetence and neglect. Any future health concerns regarding the child are the parents fault for allowing them to drink at wildly excessive levels, even if alcohol consumption is not a factor.

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Stop

heavy-handed nonsense like passing laws

The "heavy-handed nonsense like passing laws" comes in a couple of years when they discover people are ignoring the guidelines.

The official guidelines which are just numbers plucked out of thin air become standards by which the ignorant will judge you.

Look at the utter crap talked about recommended daily salt intake which makes the salt in this years Christmas dinner headline news. Pressure groups spawn from them like CASH (www.actiononsalt.org.uk) who "aim to counter these claims with the wealth of scientific evidence" but fail because there isn't any. Look at the council issuing salt shakers with less holes to local chip shops.

These guidelines will no doubt spawn a CAAK (Consensus Action on Alcohol & Kiddies) pressure group.

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Boffin

Next on the Nanny Agenda

Nulabor white paper: How to clean ones rectal region after a bowel movement.

A handy guide

Chapter 1

Are you a scruncher or a folder?

Do you go front to back, or back to front?

Single ply versus double

How often is too often?

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Bronze badge

Nanny state?

No it's not an example of the nanny state meddling and nagging, although Daily Fail readers may think so. It's actually another example of the government and civil service wasting tax payers money.

We are now taxed more highly than ever and more highly than anywhere else in Europe, because the government say this will increase public sector spending. What it means in reality is that various boards and bodies have a larger budget than they know what to do with so things like this are happening every day. They've got the money, so they feel they have to spend it. Were they really public spirited they would pass on their excess budget to areas that really need it.

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Stop

Re: "In their own homes"?

"I've never quite got this "in their own homes" thing."

How about somewhere that should be sacrosanct and shouldn't involve the government trying to micromanage our everyday. Somewhere where as individuals we are free to partake in what does no harm to anyone without concern of being pried upon. Somewhere were we don't have to be put upon by the moralising/bandwagon jumping of others - because lets face it the scientific judgement on this is pretty weak.

Certain recreational drugs are illegal because general consensus is that they are harmful to ourselves and to society - you don't have the government in your home telling you how many grams you are allowed to smoke at what time of the day.

If this government is actually concerned about our children instead of jumping on another attention grabbing bandwagon why don't they actually try to do something about the failing schools in inner cities - which actually have a huge impact - or is that too much of an effort/too many toes to step on?

Signed: Very casual drinker since I can remember - and out of all the things in my life I can safely say that alcohol has been the least of my worries.

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Unhappy

Meaningless limits

1) Doctors and other health professionals will define what is perceived to be a safe limit for any given age group. In order to not appear irresponsible these limits we be set at an ultra-conservative level where there is no prospect of any adverse health implications at all.

Er... the quacks who gave the advice on the original adult male and female limits are on record as saying that they had no idea as to the "safe" limit and just plucked the figures out of the air, since which time these figures have been set in stone.

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Anonymous Coward

Nanny knows best and forget....

Well Nanny knows best, better than you the parent, and just ignore the fact that Britain has a binge drinking problem that isn't present in countries with less twatty micro-managing governments.

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Coat

Crossword enthusiasts...

...will have noticed the opportunity to ask questions like:

Who tots up the tots totted up by the tots?

OK I'm off - mines the one with the Jack Daniels in the poachers pocket.

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Alert

I have heard it said

That breast-feeding mums partaking of a glass or two can cause a welcome sleep-inducing state in their nippers through a process I guess you could call "passive drinking".

I wonder when that'll be the subject of government advice?

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Thumb Up

Dangerously sensible

Standing around demanding that people under the age of 18 are forever sober is not a realistic stance, similar to demanding people under the age of 16 do not have sex. Issuing guidelines at least gives people an idea of reasonable limits, just as teaching teenagers about contraception is eminently sensible.

Problem is of course the tabloids will be frothing at the mouth screaming something about the government encouraging toddlers to get off their mash on extacy pipes. Sadly this will probably lead to them backing down and shelving the idea.

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Thumb Up

In an English pub near you

You can hear: "Tot us up a tot for the tot, thanks guv!"

Imagine the scene; 3am, any UK city, 3yo chavs on the binge!!

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Anonymous Coward

@Next on the Nanny Agenda

3 sheets, one up, one down, and one to polish. (apologies to Red Dwarf for nicking that one).

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Paris Hilton

Re: WFT!!!

UK has the statute of "Being drunk while in charge of a child". It is not enforced very often, but it is on the statute book none the less. So as a matter of fact, taunting your kids with the "deliciousness of booze" may end in a meeting with police and social services. It does not happen very often, but it can happen none the less.

Granted, it is better than the USA (I have a conviction for underage drinking from there), but it is not far off. After all, USA has been founded by the taleb^H^H^H^H^Hpuritan ancestors of British origin so no reason to expect UK and US to be that much different.

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Hic.

Round here they think it is part of the "Five a Day" advice.

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Anonymous Coward

@David Hicks

"The Tory is right... "

Sadly true. This really is the world through the looking glass.

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Anonymous Coward

If you are an alcoholic, best not to encourage your kids to drink at all.

If you are an alcoholic, best not to encourage your kids to drink at all.

That is better advice.

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Unhappy

A modest proposal..

Why don't the government stop beating about the bush, and come out with a law that says what they really want to say? I Suggest the following title:

A Bill to Prevent Anyone having Any Fun At All (2009)

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Yet more moaning bandwaggoners...

I'm amazed that so many of you are whining because the government's dared to suggest that it might not be a great idea to let 5 year olds get pissed. IF they'd decided to ban anyone under 18 getting anywhere near alcohol, ever, then perhaps you'd have a point, but they aren't. Letting the current - very liberal - law stand and merely making suggestions is a progressive and totally reasonable move. Nanny state? Don't be pathetic.

"How about somewhere that should be sacrosanct and shouldn't involve the government trying to micromanage our everyday. Somewhere where as individuals we are free to partake in what does no harm to anyone without concern of being pried upon. Somewhere were we don't have to be put upon by the moralising/bandwagon jumping of others - because lets face it the scientific judgement on this is pretty weak."

I agree! It's a complete disgrace that in my own home I'm not allowed to thrash my children, give them crystal meth or have sex with them.

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Flame

Re: WFT!!!

"UK has the statute of "Being drunk while in charge of a child". It is not enforced very often, but it is on the statute book none the less."

Indeed. A case of this very nature was on the news only a few days ago. As for those "nanny state" squealers who can't distinguish between the government and the civil service, it seems to me that some common sense probably does need dispensing occasionally to the "didn't do me any harm" brigade. Some minister might ride that bandwagon, but there are people whose job it is to ensure that the population learns one or two things instead of showing up a few years on expecting the health or social services to pick up some large but easily avoided tab (and not at some bar, either).

Once again the easily distracted hordes of Great Britain howl in chorus at the sight of the left hand performing a cheap magic trick, oblivious to the more pressing matters involving the right hand.

("WFT"? Has someone been loading up on the booze already for next year?)

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Stop

@ Charlie

"I agree! It's a complete disgrace that in my own home I'm not allowed to thrash my children, give them crystal meth or have sex with them."

<rewind>

"Somewhere where as individuals we are free to partake in WHAT DOES NO HARM TO ANYONE without concern of being pried upon."

Fail.

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Unhappy

Born too late again

I wonder why today's kids have all these benefits piled upon them when we had to make do with a sip from somebnody's glass.

Mollycoddle the little blighters seems to be rule of the day.

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