Parents urged to teach children the dangers of alcohol consumption and illicit drugs

The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago is calling on parents to make the care and protection of their children, their number one priority.

The call comes following the circulation of a video with children liming and drinking what appears to be alcohol, outside a residence. The children are also heard using obscene language.

The Authority notes that parents and guardians must take responsibility for teaching children what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. It adds that children should be taught at an early age the dangers of alcohol consumption and illicit drugs.

Parents are reminded of the following:

• Ensure children are left in the care of trusted and responsible adults

• Set boundaries about places children may go and enforce them

• Encourage children to check in with you frequently when they are not at home

• Monitor closely your child’s social media and cellular phone activity

• Know your children's friends and observe any new influences which may affect their behaviour

• Older children should not be given the responsibility to supervise younger ones

While the date of the video is not known, adults are encouraged to remind children that the COVID-19 pandemic requires behaviour change by all, in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Authority is collaborating with the Child Protection Unit of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service to investigate the matter. According to Section 38 of the Children Act, 2012, the Authority is mandated to contact the parent, guardian or the person with responsibility for a child, once it receives information from the Police that the child was believed to be drinking alcohol.

The public is reminded that “child protection is everybody’s business” and we should not turn a blind eye when children are in danger or engaging in dangerous activity. To report concerns about a child’s safety, contact the Authority’s Hotline at 996 or the Police at 999.

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