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Last Updated: Monday December 28 2009 12:50 GMT

Should children drink alcohol?

Teenage actor drinking

England's top doctor says children younger than 15 should never be allowed to drink alcohol.

You're allowed to drink at home with your parents from the age of five, and some parents think giving kids a small amount when they're young makes them drink more sensibly when they're older.

But Sir Liam Donaldson says if you try alcohol as a child you're more likely to drink too much of it as you grow up.

So do you think kids should be allowed to drink alcohol? Is it a good idea to have a small amount when you're with your parents?

Do your mum and dad let you drink at home? Or do you think it should be banned until you're older?

We're sorry, but this topic is now closed.

Your comments

"No I don't think that because it can harm you. Maybe if your 15 and sensible enough to know your units and don't drink too much then you should be fine."

Becki-Jo, 12, Liverpool, England

"I don't think it's a good idea. I mean, it's dangerous. Even when you're an adult, you should really be careful. People who lose control of their drinking destroy their health. My granddad's a pioneer and today, he's 79 and healthy. "

Lewis, 11, Brussels, Belgium

"I agree with the doctor and think that even children and adults under 20 should not drink. Because alcohol destroys your brain and if you go to college you still need your brain. My mother never let me sip a drink because she think the same about it."

Jussy, 13, Essex, England

"I'm allowed weak alcohol for Christmas sometimes. I think it is ok if kids do it responsibly."

Ellie, 12, Plymouth

"I don't agree with this because it can hugely affect children's lives and if they are encouraged to drink at a young age then they will continue to drink as an adult."

Amy, 13, Bournemouth, England

"I think that children over the age of 8 years old should be able to have a tiny sip but only under parent supervision. Children should be allowed to have a tiny sip to taste if they don't like it well they don't like it if they do give it to them OCCASIONALLY."

Holly, 13, Edinburgh, Scotland

"Children shouldn't drink alcohol because you can do a lot of harm to your body."

Charlotte, 9, West Bromwich, England

"My mum lets me and my siblings drink, but I don't really think she should, because my former-step-dad was an alcoholic."

Yumi, 12

"I think you should only be allowed to drink alcohol when you are 18 and it should stay like that, because you may get into a habit. I think that the Government should provide a service for which 18 year olds can attend and know how to drink alcohol responsibly."

Holly, 11, Manchester, UK

"Yeah, but only a tiny bit with adult supervision!"

Patrick, 11, Lincoln, England

"Well I agree [with the doctor], but that is partly because I don't like the stuff myself! My parents drink a bit sometimes, but they never get drunk or encourage me."

Hannah, 11, Tunbridge Wells, England

"I am not allowed to drink alcohol, even under parents supervision. I agree with this because children should not be encouraged to drink at a young age."

Victoria, 10, Dundee, Scotland

"I think kids should be allowed a small amount because it teaches them to drink sensibly."

Louise, 12, London, England

"I don't think alcohol should be allowed because it bad for you but in small amounts , under supervision it is alright."

Jasmin, 11, Leciester, Enlang

"I think kids over 10 should be aloud a certain amount if they're parents allow it"

Daisy, 11, Hemel Hempstead, England

"I think it is quite a good idea for them to have a tiny sip now and again but they then might then go on to think they are allowed it which they aren't."

Millie, 10, London, England

"Maybe they should have some but no more than two units and under adult supervision. Still there are plenty of other lovely drinks instead of alcohol."

Alice, 8, Swadlincote England

"I think the doctor is right, but maybe on special occasions they can have a small amount under supervision."

Imaan, 9, Wandsworth England

"I think that children should be allowed alcohol, but only if their parents say so."

Becky, 11, Southwick, England

"I think that it is up to the parents whether they want their children to drink alcohol."

Bronnen, 12, West Sussex, England

"I think kids should be allowed to drink alcohol under parents supervision."

Aileas, 12, Skye, Scotland

"I think it is OK for kids to have a sip or two, or maybe even a small glass, but only on special occasions."

Sam, 10, Somerset, England

"Kids should learn to drink alcohol in small amounts. On the continent, lots of kids have little glasses of wine at meals and they have lower rates of binge drinking."

Killian, 8, Birmingham, England

"Adults are given alcohol in church and sometimes everyone gets it, so I don't think it is naughty."

Emily, 11, York, England

"Alcohol is BAD and I think it should be banned."

Sue, 12, Birmingham, England

"Children should be allowed to drink small amounts, but not too much. Some children like to drink under their parents supervision, which is fine."

Jade, 13, County Durham, England

"I don't think it matters as alcohol tastes disgusting anyway! I don't see what the fuss is all about."

Rosanna, 12, Surrey, England

"No one should drink alcohol, not even grown ups."

Elly, 12, Leeds, England

"I don't think children should drink alcohol because it is very dangerous!"

Franzy, 12, Bavaria, Germany

"I don't think children should drink alcohol because it is bad for them and you don't want to encourage them at a young age."

Olivia, 12, Northampton, England

"I think that giving alcohol to children is wrong. Children shouldn't have alcohol until they are 18 or over. It is stupid and dumb!!"

Sidra, 13, Manchester, England

"I think that kids should be allowed a tiny, tiny drop of alcohol at home with their parents, but only at Christmas and other special occasions."

Katie, 13, Newport, Wales

"I don't think that children should drink alcohol because it can affect your brain."

Molly, 8, Kent, England

"No. It is not very safe, even at home."

Annie, 14, Kent, England

"I think it should be banned completely, even if you are with your parents!"

Keelin, 9, London, England

"I think you should be able to have a little to drink, but only once in a while, so your parents can teach you about the safe amount for you to drink when you are older."

Alexandra, 10, London, England

"I think parents should give a little alcohol to kids above the age of 10, because if kids aren't allowed when they're young, they are more likely to binge drink when they are a teenager to annoy their parents. "

Estie, 11, Buckinghamshire, England

"I think children should be allowed a little bit of alcohol. It would be a treat on Christmas Day."

Emily, 11, Staffordshire, England

"Kids should be allowed to drink at home with their parents. That way they learn to enjoy alcohol in moderation. Most children here drink a glass of wine with dinner, and very few people go out and binge drink as their parents encourage them to drink sensibly at home."

Kilda, 14, Brussels, Belgium

"It is out of the question! Kids should never drink alcohol!"

Jane, 14, London, England

"I think that if children don't drink alcohol when they are young, they will drink it madly when they get older! My Grandad always lets me have a bit of Guinness."

Jack, 12, Kent, England

"Children should not drink alcohol because if they see their parents drink it they would want it, and keep asking for more and then they would get into big trouble."

Katelyn, 9, Edinburgh, Scotland

"Since I was 11 my parents have let me have some alcohol at family parties and stuff, but not like beer or hard liquor. I think it is fine as long as you know to drink responsibly."

Emily, 13, California, USA

"My brother has had alcohol before with my parents, but it was only a small amount with a roast dinner. I think kids should have this so that they drink better as adults, but I don't like the smell so I don't want to try it."

Kate, 12, Scarborough, England

"I think it is bad when you see kids on the street drinking to the limit. It is really bad and disgraceful, but it doesn't mean that if you give a kid a drink they'll get drunk."

Harriet, 12, London, England

"I think parents should give their kids a small amount of alcohol so they can drink sensibly when they're older. The good age to drink alcohol is 18."

Catherine, 13, Belfast, N. Ireland

"Trying alcohol is something that should be banned for children under the age of 16, at home or anywhere else."

Lolli, 11, Buckinghamshire, England

"I think it's OK for kids to drink a little with their parents as long as it's only occasionally. It is a chance for parents to give an example of safe drinking."

Hazel, 11, Scotland

"Children under 18 should not drink alcohol. It causes lots of health problems in the long run."

Chelsea, 11, Bedford, England

"I think alcohol is a really bad influence on children, even if you're with your parents!"

Maeva, 10, London, England

"I think we should not be allowed to drink alcohol under the age of 15. You might get addicted at a young age and could get seriously ill."

Emma, 11, Essex, England

"It's stupid that some parents even let their children drink! Kids could get used to the taste and drink more when they're older."

Kamilla, 12, London, England

"I don't think parents should restrict alcohol entirely from their children. If they do it's an easy way for children to rebel when they're older and binge drink. Letting your children have a bit will probably be fine."

Georgie, 12, London, England

"I think that your parents should let you drink a little bit now and then so that you will be used to it and won't drink as much when you're older."

Peter, 14, Essex, England

"I think children younger than 15 should not drink alcohol because it's dangerous to their health."

Hassan, 12, Birmingham, England

"I think the age limit should stay at 18. Children should not drink alcohol under any circumstances."

Joe, 11, Leeds, England

"I think kids should be able to try small amounts of alcohol, because sometimes that can put them off drinking. But only very small amounts!"

Amelia-Rose, 12, Manchester, England

"I think it's dangerous for children to drink alcohol. If they continue drinking it they may become an alcoholic and damage their lungs."

Martha, 10, London, England

"It's just wrong to drink under the age of 16. It's still a bad idea to drink even at home. My parents don't let me drink alcohol and I agree with them."

Amy, 11, Norwich, England

"I think children should be allowed a small amount of alcohol with their parents at home. This will help them drink sensibly when they are older."

Lilly, 10, Stoke, England

"I think that children should only try a little bit, but that is it."

Ramona, 13, Cornwall, England

"I think under supervision they should be able to drink alcohol, but not able to buy it themselves."

Lauren, 13, Berkshire, England

"I think it's stupid to give kids alcohol if they're under the age of 15."

Aisling, 10, Dublin, Ireland

"Definitely not. Children could easily get drunk!"

Ellie, 11, Berkshire, England

"Alcohol tastes vile, why would we want to drink it? The smell of it makes me want to puke. Also, it damages your liver and BRAIN!"

Suzanne, 14, Herts, England

"I think that if you are under the age of 16, alcohol should not be drunk."

Amy, 12, Belfast, N. Ireland

"I think it is bad to drink alcohol whatever age you are."

Zak, 10, Swindon, England