ER Visits by Teen Boys Skyrocket During July 4 Weekend

Filed under: In The News, Alcohol & Drugs

The Fourth of July holiday is upon us. Do you know where your teenage boys are?

If you're thinking a little freedom is in order for your kids on Independence Day, a new study may have you rethinking things.

ABC News reports visits by underage males to the emergency room are twice as high during the July 4 weekend than the rest of the month.

And it's not fireworks, but drinking that's too blame. Alcohol poisoning, drunk driving accidents and fights were the most common reasons for the visits, according to the network.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report shows two-thirds of ER patients on July 3-5, 2009, were boys, ABC reports.

"This is a high-risk period for them," Dr. Pete Delaney, director of the Center for Behavioral Statistics and Quality at SAMHSA, tells the network. "The statistics were pretty striking for the holiday weekend period."

Girls, however, did not visit ERs more often during the holiday weekend, according to the study.

"The social reality is that most girls are probably not drinking as heavily as boys, and they're probably not getting into fights or even driving as much as boys," Delaney tells ABC.

He tells the network parents should have conversations with their children about drinking.

"Helping children stay safe around drugs and alcohol should be like booster sessions; it's not just a one-time thing," Delaney tells ABC. "Parents need to play a continuing role and set expectations."

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