Someone Passed Out Drunk? Quick! Call an 11-Year-Old!

Filed under: In The News, Weird But True, Alcohol & Drugs

You know how it goes. Your 11-year-old goes to a friend's birthday party. There is cake, ice cream and Jack Daniels.

Inevitably, some sixth-grader can't hold his liquor and collapses.

Your child really ought to know how to give first aid to a drunk friend. So say Red Cross officials in Great Britain, anyway.

They took a poll of 2,500 British kids and found one in seven young people -- some as young as 11 -- have had to deal with a drunk friend either getting injured or losing consciousness.

Joe Mulligan, a first aid expert with the British Red Cross, tells the London Daily Mail even young kids need to know how to respond.

"We need to ensure that every young person -- irrespective of whether they're drinking -- has the ability and confidence to cope in a crisis," he tells the newspaper.

Only 10 percent of those surveyed said they called 999 (the British equivalent of 911) in a drunken emergency. Almost half called their parents.

Nearly a fourth (23 percent) of the kids surveyed reported being drunk themselves an average of three times in the past six months.

And more than one in three (36 percent) 14- to 16-year-olds said they regularly get plowed most weekends, consuming the equivalent of a bottle of wine or eight bottles of "alcopop" -- fruity alcoholic beverages popular among European teens.

Brits can legally purchase alcohol when they are 18. However, they may consume it privately at age 5 and publicly at age 16.

The Daily Mail reports the poll was released to mark the new British Red Cross campaign called "Life. Live it." The campaign encourages young people to learn life-saving first aid skills.

"Our aim is that all young people and children in the U.K. have the opportunity to learn first aid skills and gain the confidence to save lives," Mulligan tells the Mail. "Plus, it's not just about saving lives (but) being able to immediately help someone will reduce pain, minimize distress and speed up the recovery process."

Chris Sorek, chief executive of the charity Drinkaware, tells the newspaper he finds the poll numbers alarming.

"These findings reinforce our knowledge that drinking to excess puts young people at risk," he tells the Mail. "This risk is heightened if they are drinking unsupervised in the company of peers who don't feel equipped to deal with alcohol-fueled emergencies."

Related: Parenting Style an Influence on Teen Drinking, Study Says


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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.