When your kids reach a certain age and drinking becomes a potential reality, it is time to open the lines of communication, and let them know the risks and consequences of alcohol consumption.

Teens should be encouraged to speak with their parents about drinking, and delay introduction to alcohol as it can harm the way the body and brain develop.

Be a role model parent for your kids. Model responsible drinking behaviours and teach them about the right choices and the right amount to help them make educated choices about alcohol, parties, drinking and driving and overall safety.

If young people choose to drink, set family rules and boundaries. For instance, consider advising them to only drink under parental guidance, and never more than 1–2 drinks at a time, no more than 1–2 times per week. Young people should be told to plan ahead, follow local alcohol laws, know when not to drink, and follow the tips for drinking in moderation. They can also consult their healthcare providers to understand the impact of their drinking habits. Not drinking alcohol might be the healthiest choice.