A majority of Americans drink alcohol. Not only men but women and teens cannot give in to the temptations of consuming alcohol on a regular basis. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 86.4 percent of people aged 18 years or older had admitted to consuming alcohol at some point in their lifetime.
Teenage drinking is a serious problem that far too many parents either do not take seriously or ignore completely. In the U.S., underage drinking is a leading problem that results in deaths due to homicide, suicide and drowning. It is a common tendency for some parents to have alcohol in the presence of their toddlers. At times, toddlers tend to take a sip or two from their parent’s glass of beer or whiskey. While most parents try to prevent their children from consuming alcohol, some allow youngsters to have one sip thinking that it will do no harm to them.
Although a single sip of alcohol does not make any difference to a full-grown adult, a toddler weighing 28 pounds or less could be severely impacted by its deleterious effects. Even a single sip could raise the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and cause him or her to drink more. In case parents continue with the practice, the child often ends up becoming tolerant toward alcohol. Underage drinking is linked to cognitive impairments, lowered IQ and possible substance use disorders in later life.
Handy tips to prevent alcohol poisoning in toddlers
Alcohol is a dangerous poison for children, especially toddlers. As a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, it quickly lowers the blood sugar in children. When blood sugar falls beyond a certain level, the probability of coma and seizures increases. If medical aid is not delivered in time, there is a high risk of brain shutting down because of the lack of glucose. Seizures, irritation and confusion are signs of alcohol poisoning in children.
But, alcohol toxicity can be treated effectively through careful monitoring and preventing choking and breathing problems in children.Here are some tips to prevent alcohol poisoning from occurring in babies:
- Practicing abstinence while on a family outing: Family outings with children should be kept alcohol free as far as possible. In case children ask for a sip, it is essential to dissuade them. However, if a child accidently swallows alcohol, the best way is to take him or her to the emergency right away.
- Keeping alcohol away from the reach of children: Alcohol overdosing and poisoning is infrequent because children do not generally like the taste of alcohol. But once parents start giving them, the occasional sip on a regular basis can increase the chances of overdosing and alcohol poisoning. Early alcohol abuse triggers certain pathways in the brain that increase the risk of addiction and psychotic disorders.
- Educating children about alcoholism: It is important for parents to let children know about the ill effects of alcohol as early as possible.
- Using alcohol-free products for children: Parents need to ensure that products such as mouthwashes are alcohol free. Thus, it is essential to read the label at the time of buying and to refrain from products containing alcohol, ethanol, methanol, wood alcohol, or any such derivative of alcohol.
Road to recovery
There are safer methods of teaching a child to avoid alcohol. Alcohol abuse among youngsters is a global malaise but timely treatment including detox and sessions with a trained therapist can go a long way in nipping the problem in the bud. If you, or someone you know is suffering from any alcohol-related problem, chat online or call at our 24/7 Alcohol Addiction Get Help Helpline at 866-281-3014 to know about the best alcohol addiction treatment centers in your vicinity.