Talking to kids about alcohol abuse -- at age 9 - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Talking to kids about alcohol abuse -- at age 9

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

New government-funded public service announcements released on Monday encourage parents to talk to their kids about drinking, starting at age 9.

The new PSAs prove the drinking discussion can be uncomfortable, but necessary, according to the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration.

It paid for the ads, encouraging parents to talk early. The agency found children start thinking about drinking between 9 and 13. By age 12, ten percent have tried it. By age 15, half poured a drink.

Stephanie Hemming's son will be nine in three weeks.

"He's still a kid. He likes baseball, sports, the thought hasn't even crossed my mind," she said.

What about age 11? Derrick McDonald had the talk with his 11 year old.

"First of all, you have to be the right age to drink, and I tell him what alcohol does to your body," McDonald said.

His son is aware when he talks to his friends.

"They'll say like a drink that they've heard of but they don't talk about drinking," said 11-year-old Eligan Immanuel.

Elireback got the talk at age 10. He's 16 now.

"(My parents) told me that it's something that can be abused," he said.

Eli Reback's seen that theory play out with his peers.

He says the negative consequences of drinking are what most get his attention as a teenager.

"(If) my friends or their friends sometimes get arrested for underage drinking," he said.

He said that arrest is what most got his attention about drinking.

However, researchers found that most teens said their parents were the leading influence on whether they should drink.

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