Do you let your child drink under-age on holiday?

Posted by Sue Anderson, 13th Aug 2013

Some UK parents have a lot to answer for when it comes to their holiday antics. Our latest poll looked into how many parents let their under-age children drink alcohol abroad. Whilst legal age limits for alcohol consumption don't tend to differ that much from the UK (aged 18), bars in holiday resorts around the world can be a little more relaxed about who they serve and some will turn a blind eye to under-age drinking.

We polled 1,782 British parents, each with a child under the age of 18. Those taking part were asked all about their holiday experiences and everyone had been on holiday abroad with their children in the last 12 months. So, what did we find out this time?

1 in 4 parents let their children drink under-age on holiday

When we asked the question 'Did you let your child drink alcohol on your last holiday, despite them being under-age?' 26% of those taking part admitted that they did. Tut tut! We wanted to know how young these children were when they were allowed to have an alcoholic beverage.

The majority, 55%, said their child was aged 15-17 at the time, whilst 23% said 12-14 and 19% said 9-11. Shockingly, the remaining 3% said their child was aged between 6 and 8 years old at the time! But did these parents actually let their child get drunk? Well, 44% admitted that their child had become intoxicated after drinking alcohol.

Majority wouldn't let their child drink alcohol back home in the UK

Despite so many saying that their child was allowed to drink alcohol under-age whilst they were on holiday, 68% said they wouldn't allow it back home in the UK.

When we asked why they had allowed their under-age child to drink alcohol abroad, the top reasons given were as follows:

Thought it was legal abroad - 47%

Easier to get away with abroad - 21%

Let them have fun on holiday - 15%

Easier to keep an eye on them on holiday - 9%

Other - 8%

Whilst a glass of wine with a meal might be acceptable for some teenagers, according to their parents, allowing a 6 year old to drink alcohol on holiday shouldn't even cross a parent's mind. It's risky enough becoming intoxicated in an environment you are familiar with, but for a child to become drunk in a strange place is very irresponsible indeed.
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