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Parents play key role in preventing scary underage drinking this Halloween

Posted at 12:01 PM, Oct 28, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — It's always a good idea to talk to kids about underage drinking, but Parents Empowered and the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (DABC) say that now is the time to do so, before Halloween parties this weekend.

They say a simple conversation is all it takes to have a positive impact.

"Having fun together will help strengthen your relationship with your kids and offer opportunities for them to share their thoughts and their feelings,” says Elizabeth Klc, Director of the Utah Substance Use and Mental Health Advisory Council (Council).

Setting clear rules and having ongoing conversations with teens about alcohol is the best way to prevent underage drinking.

“The harm of alcohol on developing adolescent brains can be immediate and long-term. It can impact our children’s health overall, safety, and development,” said Klc.

Parents Empowered, an education campaign funded by the Utah Legislature, said that talking to children as young as nine years old can make a difference.

“We recommend that you spend at least 15 minutes a day of one-on-one time with your kids, doing activities they enjoy. When you spend time in your child’s world, they’ll listen when you speak from yours,” adds Klc.

She says there are three things every parent should do: Bond with your child, set boundaries, and monitor behavior, and the likelihood of underage drinking will be greatly reduced.