Tooele bus signs encourage parents to talk to kids about drinking

Local News

TOOELE COUNTY (ABC4 News) – New signs will be on school buses traveling around Tooele County.  Their message is simple:  Parents talk to your children about why underage drinking can be so damaging.

Tooele Mayor Debbie Winn explained why the city joined community groups for this new initiative, “We know that the children are our future and we want to make sure they are learning what they need too.”

Tooele wants to make sure kids have healthy brains, so they teamed up with Valley Behavioral Health to spread the science of their message.

Valley Behavioral Health Executive Julie Rael said, “We need to communicate the realities of underage drinking and how it impacts children’s brains and the development of their memory and personality.”

Data from this year’s Utah Student Health and Risk Prevention survey show an increase from 2017 to 2019 in binge drinking rates for grades 8, 10 and 12 in Tooele County.  Binge drinking is more than 5 drinks in a 2 hour period, that much alcohol and that fast can significantly impact a child’s developing brain.

ParentsEmpowered.org joined in on the initiative to unveil the new message on school buses throughout the county.

Mayor Winn said, “Knowing these busses are in our neighborhoods parents will see them while they are picking up their kids and they will be reminded of their important role of educating the kids.”

Research backs up the idea that parents are important, they are the number one reason kids decide not to drink.

Rael encouraged parents to have the uncomfortable conversations, “embrace the uncomfortable with adult type issues with children.  If parents are willing and open to talk about these things, the children will be more open and willing.”

The campaign giving a friendly, but important reminder to talk with your children.

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