A quarter of parents won't consider childcare for when they have a hangover

Parents may overestimate their tolerance to alcohol, warns one expert. [Photo: Gett
Parents may overestimate their tolerance to alcohol, warns one expert. [Photo: Gett

Christmas season brings with it a number of boozy occasions, but some parents of young children have not thought about who will look after their children if they are suffering from a hangover the next day.

A quarter of parents will not think about whether they will be able to look after their children the next day after attending an alcohol-heavy gathering like a work drinks or friend’s party, according to a new US report.

Out of the 1,170 parents with children aged between 0 and nine who took part in the survey, one in 12 even admitted to being too affected by alcohol to carry out their regular parenting duties the next day.

Sarah Clark, an associate research scientist at the University of Michigan Medical School, who conducted the research, warned a hungover parent would not be able to shield a child from safety risks.

She said: “A parent passed out on the couch will not be effective in recognising and reacting to the everyday safety risks that occur with children.”

Clark added that parents out of the habit of drinking might not realise how much their tolerance had been reduced compared to periods where they might have drunk more often.

“Some of it is you don’t always recognise that you might hit a stage in your life where it affects you differently.”

Thankfully, you might be able to avoid a hangover through doing the right preparation beforehand.

Ways to avoid a hangover include eating carbohydrates before you head out, drinking a glass of water after every alcoholic drink, and taking paracetamol when you get back home.

You should also avoid social smoking – proven to make hangovers worse – and stay aware of how many units you are consuming.

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