- Two years on Are annual functions reports reaching their potential?
- We need to do more to protect our children and young people
- Alcohol related hospital admissions for 2018 to 2019
- Hitting the right note in training
- Minimum unit pricing update
- Scottish primary children call for action on alcohol
- New Alcohol Deaths Prevention Support Now Available from AFS
- Its time to tell us whats in our drinks
- A home for Rory
- Making a bad impression - blog post
- Alcohol sales and MUP
- Alcohol-specific deaths 2018
- Five tips for upping the engagement factor
- Alcohol marketing and children debate in the Scottish Parliament
- Lowest alcohol sales in 25 years
- Research into fall in violence
- The Children's Parliament investigates an alcohol-free childhood
- Five tips for training delivery nerves
- Minimum unit pricing one year on
- More about sales data
- A family of resources it is all about prevention, education and resilience
- AFS publish Review of Licensing Board Annual Functions Reports 2017-2018
- Marketing unmasked dispelling the myths and taking a stand
- No place for alcohol marketing in sport
- Five pitfalls to avoid in evaluating training
- Scotland publishes first UK guidelines for diagnosing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)
- The Alcohol Framework 2018 Preventing Harm
- Scotlands new drug and alcohol strategy launched
- AFS welcome new alcohol strategy
- Recent reporting on alcohol sales data
- Cross-Party Group Improving Scotland's health: 2021 and beyond October 2018
- Diageo is failing to provide latest guidelines on their products
- Drinks companies keeping consumers in dark about risky drinking
- Reducing alcohol consumption can address health inequalities
- Alcohol-specific deaths remain at very high levels
- Oh Lila goes digital
- Global first alcohol policy set to save hundreds of Scots' lives
- AFS welcomes minimum unit pricing for alcohol
- Walker's crisp ad exposes children to alcohol marketing
- Truer picture of alcohol harm revealed
- Focus on link between alcohol and obesity
- Alcohol causes 3,700 deaths in Scotland every year
- Last Christmas for heavily discounted alcohol
- Scotland's licensing system needs clearer direction
- Minimum pricing blog
- Minimum pricing gets green light
- Reflections on GAPC 2017
- Alcohol brands and young people
- Time for honest conversations about alcohol
- Q&A on alcohol marketing
- UK children anxious about parents' drinking
- Quarter of Scots drink above guidelines
- Alcohol producers failing to inform public
- Concern over alcohol-related deaths
- We need to make it easier for people to drink less
- Worrying rise in alcohol-related deaths
- Minimum pricing will save lives
- Pocket money prices for alcohol continue
- Scotland's alcohol problem laid bare
- Cheap alcohol is costing Scotland dear
- One drink a day can increase breast cancer risk
- Poverty linked to increased harm from alcohol
- What next for reducing alcohol harm in Scotland?
- Scotland must do more to turn tide of alcohol harm
- Concern as funding for alcohol services cut
- Budget: No change in alcohol duty
- Scottish Government urged to curb alcohol marketing
- Consumers have the right to know health risks
- Chancellor urged to tackle cheap, strong cider in Budget
- Online help for families affected by alcohol
- Alcohol-free childhood is healthiest option
- SWA granted leave to appeal minimum pricing
- Drink drive warning
- Scottish Greens call for action on alcohol marketing
- Scottish Government receives European alcohol award
- SWA will appeal to UK Supreme Court
- Half of alcohol being sold under 50p per unit
- SWA urged to respect minimum pricing decision
- Alcohol and mental health are closely linked
- Minimum pricing can be implemented in Scotland
- Alcohol sold at pocket money prices
- Scotland has so much to gain from reducing how much we drink
- AFS welcomes revised alcohol consumption guidelines
- Emergency services face shocking levels of alcohol abuse
- Every child has the right to grow up safe from alcohol harm
- Public health must prevail over big business
- New toolkit to help children affected by family alcohol problems
- Price check reveals cheap cost of strong alcohol
- Sales increase underlines need for minimum pricing
- Time to kick alcohol out of sport
- Alcohol linked with stomach cancer
- AFS calls for compulsory health warnings on alcoholic drinks
- Are supermarkets 'responsible retailers' when it comes to alcohol?
- Scottish health charities call for excise duty rise to tackle cheap alcohol
- Alcohol campaigners unite to call for stronger protection from alcohol advertising to children
- New resource for people concerned about alcohol in their community
- Minimum pricing decision delayed until summer
- No completely 'safe' level of drinking
- New alcohol guidelines published
- Minimum pricing - European court ruling
- Alcohol fuels ambulance assaults
- 82% of Scots agree drink driving is unacceptable
- Scotland's alcohol strategy - what next?
- Scotland leads way in evidence-based alcohol policy
- New report reveals impact of alcohol on emergency services
- Alcohol: a global concern
The Children's Parliament investigates an alcohol-free childhood
We believe our children have the right enjoy a happy childhood, free from the emotional and physical impact of other people’s drinking and alcohol marketing. As adults we don’t necessarily appreciate the awareness children have of alcohol and its impact on their lives, assuming that because it isn’t aimed at them that they aren’t affected by it. We know from work with the Children’s Parliament that they notice and are affected by alcohol in their environment both in the home, and in their communities.
The Scottish Government has committed to put the voices of children and young people at the heart of developing preventative measures on alcohol.
The work the Children’s Parliament is doing will directly contribute to Alcohol Focus Scotland’s work to build support for an alcohol-free childhood, and the measures needed to achieve this. In particular, relevant findings will be included in AFS’s submission to the Scottish Government’s upcoming consultation on potential measures to protect children and young people from alcohol marketing in Scotland.
On the 28th May 2019 seven ‘investigators’ from the Children’s Parliament met with Minister for Public Health Joe FitzPatrick and Alison Douglas, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland.
The investigators - a group of 9 to 11 year olds - have been working with 100 of their peers in three primary schools across Edinburgh.
During the session the children explained that they had carried out workshops with their classmates in Stenhouse, Sighthill and St John’s primary schools to learn more about where they see alcohol on a daily basis, how this makes them feel and what an alcohol-free childhood means to them.
Alcohol has routinely been raised as an issue by children in other projects run by the Children’s Parliament.
What have the Investigators found?
They talked about how the workshops had been run and the tasks the children had participated in to get them thinking about where alcohol appears in their lives. From the workshops it transpired that children are seeing alcohol or alcohol-related advertising from early in the morning, while getting breakfast, on their walk to school, throughout the day in shops, on posters and billboards and in parks, then on TV and online and in the home before they go to bed. The groups also talked about seeing people drinking while traveling on trains and before the football.
During the workshops held over three days, 100 children created artwork showing where they see alcohol in their lives. Each picture is brightly coloured with the alcohol left blank. The investigators talked the Minister through some of the images including shops where they see the brightly coloured price tags highlighting price discounts, sports ground hoardings with alcohol advertising, parties and social gatherings, and broken bottles as well as people drinking in parks.
When asked by Mr Fitzpatrick whether they see alcohol adverts on TV one child responded “We see it a lot, all the time”. The investigators reported more generally that the children across Edinburgh spoke about seeing adverts on TV, and finding this concerning as it might prompt adults to drink more, as well as people drinking in TV programmes.
What would an alcohol-free childhood look like to them?
In their view of what an alcohol-free childhood would be like the groups of children identified that;
- “Children would be better and healthier because when they grow up they wouldn’t think it is cool to drink.” MCP, ag 11
- “When children went to the football there would be less fights because people would think before doing anything bad.” MCP, age 10
- “It sometimes makes people feel left out at parties when everyone is drinking. Children can feel sad, ignored and not listened to.” MCP, age 9
- “If parks were alcohol free children might feel safe and happy” MCP, age 10
- “Life would be better [for children] because when they [adults] are drinking they could be spending time with their children.” MCP, age 10
- “It would make children feel less worried and more happy” MCP, age 10
What did the adults say?
Speaking on the subject Alison Douglas said, “As adults we tend to assume that as an age-restricted product children aren’t aware of alcohol and its advertising but we’ve got young children who are very aware of the different types of drinks, and of particular brands. What this work has really shown is just how often children are seeing alcohol – from opening the fridge in the morning when they get their breakfast throughout the day in shops, on adverts and in the home - and the negative effect it can have on their wellbeing.”
Joe FitzPatrick, Minister for Public Health said, “What I’ve been most surprised at today has been just how much children are coming into contact with alcohol in some way. When you see it written down and you hear them talking about it, it’s quite stark. Clearly alcohol has a huge impact on the lives of children, and it’s really important that we hear their voices as we move on to develop policies to protect children from the alcohol harm that affects the whole of society.”
Find out more about Alcohol Focus Scotland's work on an acohol-free childhood.