WHAT parents should do with their children when it comes to alcohol is one of the issues to be debated at a conference in the region.

The conference, at Durham’s Ramside Hall, will explore children how can can be protected from the impact of alcohol.

In the North-East about 16,500 11-15 years old are estimated to drink on a regular basis with some adults wrongly believing providing children with alcohol in a supervised situation will help them to better handle drinking when they are older.

Loading article content

Colin Shevills, director of Balance, said too many children were still on the path to becoming dependant drinkers at a young age.

He said: “Every parent wants the best for their child and it can be very difficult to know what the right thing to do is.

“There is clear guidance out there, but it is not easy to find or widely promoted.

“Parents need clear advice to help their children by providing the right guidance – especially around zero consumption of alcohol before they turn 15.

“But we also need to control ‘pester power’ by reducing children’s exposure to alcohol advertising.”

Professor Peter Kelly, Public Health England North-East director, said: “Excessive alcohol consumption can harm children and wreck families, impact on workplace colleagues and can be a burden and drain on the NHS and economy.”