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Experts Warn Parents To Stop Giving Alcohol To Children To Teach Them About Dangerous Drinking

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The Loop

Christmas is a week away, and many families in the U.S. will be uncorking a bottle of their best wine.

Most parents don't think it's a big deal that children try a sip, but experts beg to differ.

Anne Atkins, a mother of five and author of the book Child Rearing for Fun: Trust Your Instincts and Enjoy Your Children, says she allowed her daughter to first taste wine when she was eight, and now that she's a teenager, Atkins has allowed her to have a little more wine during a time of celebration.

The message she's trying to send to her kids is this: "Alcohol is good for you [when] drunk and enjoyed correctly. But we have to acknowledge that booze is a huge problem in our society now," she told BBC News.

The idea here is that teenagers are going to drink alcohol at a party anyway, so if they first try it at home, they'll learn how to drink responsibly.

Current health guidelines discourage giving alcohol to minors, and urge parents to not give their children alcohol before they are 15.

But a recent study shows that many parents say to hell with these warnings.

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