PARENTS across the North-East are being warned this summer about the risks of giving children alcohol supplies which can harm their health, fuel noisy street sessions and lead to accidents, police action and other unwanted consequences.

It comes as Balance, the North-East alcohol office, re-launches the What’s the Harm? campaign in time for the school summer holidays – often a peak time for teenagers to try alcohol.

Figures show that parents and carers are the number one source of alcohol for children – for 70 per cent of 11 to 15-year-olds who drink. In the North-East, teenagers are known to plan sessions or “a sesh” via social media – often fuelled by alcohol from the home.

Young people who drink regularly are four times more likely to smoke and three times more likely to take other, illegal drugs. They are more likely to get hurt due to an accident or as a result of violence and are more likely to engage in early and unprotected sex.

Colin Shevills, director of Balance, said: “We know from talking to North-East children that alcohol sessions are common and can be shared across teenagers’ social media channels. It is clear that often, the alcohol is coming from the family home.

“We are appealing to parents to think twice – do they want to be the ones fuelling drinking among their children’s peer group and encouraging other risk taking behaviour?

“Too many children are ending up in hospital, in A&E or with real problems in their lives because of alcohol. We want the best start in life for our children and evidence is clear that the longer we can delay drinking alcohol in their lives, the better.”

A spokeswoman for Durham Police said: “We welcome the re-launch of the ‘What’s the Harm’ campaign by Balance as we approach the school summer break.

“At this time of year we see a rise in alcohol-related incidents involving young people and, as reflected by the evidence, the alcohol is often supplied to the young people by a parent or carer.

“We witness first-hand the consequences this can have on young people, families and the wider community and encourage adults to think twice before giving alcohol to a young person.”

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