Christmas classic adapted by Donegal charity to raise awareness of effect of alcohol on children

Poem by Alcohol Forum highlights more extreme experiences that a child can have when exposed to excess drinking

Staff Reporter

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Staff Reporter

Christmas classic adapted by Donegal charity to raise awareness of effect of alcohol on children

Donegal based  national charity the Alcohol Forum has recorded a version of the classic Christmas poem, 'Twas the night before Christmas, to raise awareness of the harmful effect our drinking can have on children during Christmas.

The reworking of the classic poem by the Alcohol Forum highlights more extreme experiences that a child can have when exposed to excess drinking.

A video of the thought provoking poem is available on the Alcohol Forum’s website. 

The Alcohol Forum hopes the poem will prompt people think about how children might feel or the risks they might face when alcohol is freely available in the home.

Their online festive guide has practical advice for adults to ensure everyone is protected and children feel safe while celebrating this Christmas.

The video aims to highlight how excessive drinking can have very serious consequences for the safety and well-being of family members, with children being the most vulnerable. When asked, one in eleven 12-18 year olds said that parental alcohol consumption had a negative effect on them.

CEO of the Alcohol Forum, Kieron Doherty,  said: “Christmas and New Year is when we get together with family and friends and often have a drink or two. But it can be a stressful time and sometimes alcohol can make things worse. We’ve put a festive guide on our website with simple suggestions for people to help reduce the risk of harm from alcohol to ourselves and especially children. Practical and effective things like making sure there is at least one ‘safe adult’ supervising children at

functions and social gatherings. A safe adult is similar to a designated driver. They are simply a responsible, non-drinking person, known to and trusted by you and your children. It could be you, a family member or a friend. At parties there can be a lot of alcohol sitting around which can be dangerous for children, loud noises or raised voices can sometimes be frightening to children. So the ‘safe adult’ is a safe haven and someone looking out for the needs of the children.”

The festive guide and the video can be accessed at www.alcoholforum.org.

If you have been affected by the content of this poem please visit our website for information on where you can

get support.