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BBQ Responsibly: A Friendly Heads-Up for Cookout Season

From concerts to picnics to backyard BBQs, summer is the outdoor eating season. And all those frequent get-togethers have something else in common besides food—alcohol.

BBQWhether you're hosting a neighborhood bash or attending someone else's, it's important to keep in mind that the combination of sun, open flames and overindulgence can have potentially dire consequences.

With that in mind, here're a few quick tips to keep you safe this summer, as well as demonstrate model behavior for your kids without going completely non-alcoholic.

  • Offer plenty of alcohol-free activities and drinks.
  • Never allow drunken guests to drive home.
  • On that note, always make sure guests who intend to have drink a designated driver.
  • Toss out half-empty containers so your kids won't be tempted to drink from the same cup.
  • Always make sure your alcohol is supervised.
  • Make a point to inform your kids exactly why it's alright for adults to drink, and not for them to drink—teens are undergoing essential brain development, which could be severely hampered by early alcohol use.
  • If your kids are heading to a BBQ or cookout, be in touch with whoever is hosting to make sure they're just as strict as you are about alcohol consumption.

And most importantly—when you do drink in front of your kids, model behavior that you want them to adopt.

Like it or not, your teens probably WILL be in a situation where they're offered alcohol. If they don't outright refuse it, the best you can hope for is that they'll drink responsibly in your

absence based on practices they've learned from you.

There's no perfect choice here, but with the above practices, you'll be on the right path towards both limiting danger at your cookouts and setting a solid foundation for your kids.

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