Parents urged to rethink lockdown drinking in front of children

A person drinking alcohol (AAP) Source: AAP

One in five parents have started drinking daily, or every other day, in front of their children since the lockdown began, new statistics show.

A quarter of parents blame the stress of teaching kids for hitting the bottle, while one in three put their drinking down to coronavirus-fuelled anxiety and stress.

Erin Lalor from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, which surveyed 1000 parents across Australia, wants people to rethink their habits.

She is concerned about the health impacts as well as the message it might send to kids.

"If you are feeling stressed or anxious, it's best to avoid drinking alcohol because it can make these feelings worse," Dr Lalor said.

"It's also essential that children don't learn to view alcohol as a coping mechanism."

Parents of nine to 12 year olds were drinking most, with Millennial parents drinking more than those from Generation X and Baby Boomers.

With many pubs closed, parents have resorted to drinking at home (AAP)
With many pubs closed, parents have resorted to drinking at home (AAP)

Industry lobby group Alcohol Beverages Australia chief executive Andrew Wilsmore pointed to an Australian Bureau of Statistics survey finding one in seven Australians had increased their alcohol intake.

But he said with nearly half drinking the same, 10 per cent reducing intake and 30 per cent abstaining, it meant the majority were drinking responsibly.

"'It's time Australians were given credit for their responsible conduct during this crisis," Mr Wilsmore said.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store. SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments.

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