CHILD abuse takes different forms; it includes neglect which can be defined as the “failure to give due attention or care to a child, resulting in serious emotional or physical harm.”
One serious form of abuse is when an adult or parent gives alcohol to a child; the behaviour is not only irresponsible but it puts the health of the child at risk.
Alcohol interferes with the perception of reality and the ability of a person who imbibes to make right decisions.
The danger is even greater for children who are exposed to alcohol, especially that their brain is still developing.
It is imperative to note that when children are forced to consume alcohol, there are long- and short-term effects on the health of such children because alcohol is also classified as a drug.
Some of the consequences of children taking alcohol is its depressant effects that can cause slow breathing and heart irregularities, leading to coma or death.
The consumption of alcohol, especially by children can result into acute alcohol poisoning. When this happens, the first instinct is to try to get rid of the poison but often it is not possible because the reflexes of a person more especially a child are too depressed to vomit and clear the airways, this can lead to a person choking to death on the vomit.
Another danger of allowing children to consume alcohol is the possibility of causing permanent damage to the brain, heart and liver, another unfortunate situation that can also lead to death.
The brains of children continue to grow and develop until about 20 years of age. Drinking alcohol before this age can cause permanent brain damage.
According to the American Medical Association, the brains of children who indulge in alcohol consumption can be up to 10 percent smaller than of those children who are non-drinkers.
And when children start drinking alcohol before the age of 15, they are four times more likely to become alcoholic when compared to those of their peers who wait until they are 21 years of age or older.
Additionally, the effects of alcohol on the brain depress inhibitions and the reaction time especially for children.
It is a fact that children are already prone to risky behaviour, a situation which can be worsened when they begin to drink alcohol at an early age.
It is what can also lead to children making bad or poor decisions and indulging in risky or unacceptable behaviour.
It is for some of these reasons that parents should behave responsibly when they decide to consume alcohol in the presence of their children.
By nature, children are easily impressionable and they pick up on good or bad habits based on the behaviour of their parents or adults in their lives.
Another point worth noting is that giving alcohol to children is also a form of abuse and experience has shown that such children are more at risk of being abused and are likely to suffer physical, academic, social, and emotional issues as they grow into adulthood.
Parents therefore, have the responsibility to teach their children how to deal with situations where they might be exposed to alcohol.
Parents should not be the ones corrupting the morals and compromising the health of their children by offering them alcohol. The role of parents is to protect their children from behaviours that will negatively impact the growth and development of their children.
Covid-19 is real; keep safe!
Remember, children are our future, until next week, take care .
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