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US researchers highlight the hazards of the 'parenting hangover'

Relaxnews (AFP) logoRelaxnews (AFP) 12/19/2018

A quarter of parents who drink alcohol on special occasions and who have young children to look after don't think ahead to the next day, according to the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll from the University of Michigan, based on responses from 1,170 parents of children age zero to nine years.

While most parents who expect to drink alcohol on a night out think ahead to plan transport home or someone to watch their children during the event, fewer consider the following day when making plans.

With the holiday party season now upon us, University of Michigan researchers have highlighted the concept of the "parenting hangover" by analyzing responses of 1,170 parents of at least one child between the ages of zero and nine.

The researchers report that 8% of parents polled said they had been in a situation where they were too impaired from alcohol to fulfill their parenting responsibilities.

Plus, 29% of parents polled said that they knew of another adult who might have caused an unsafe situation for their child due to drinking alcohol on a special occasion. These parents mostly were concerned that the person was too impaired or hungover to supervise their child (61%) or to handle a possible emergency (48%). Less commonly, they were concerned that the adult drove with a child while impaired (37%), got violent or out of control in front of the child (28%), or injured the child (7%).

Among parents who reported drinking alcoholic beverages during special events, 73% said they were very likely to make advance plans for someone to watch their child during a special event, and 68% said they were very likely to plan transportation home. Some 64% said they were very likely to make plans for someone to take care of their child the day after the event.

According to the study, parents who drink rarely were found to be less likely to plan ahead for the night of and day after a special event.

"The amount of alcohol consumed can affect parenting the next day," explains the poll's co-director, Sarah Clark. "A parent passed out on the couch will not be effective in recognizing and reacting to the everyday safety risks that occur with children."

A US study suggests parents plan ahead for the day after a night of alcohol consumption. © Provided by AFPRelaxNews A US study suggests parents plan ahead for the day after a night of alcohol consumption.
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