Studies show that during the week of spring break, teens will engage in binge drinking. On average, males will drink 12 gallons of alcohol each and females will drink 6.5 gallons.
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The Risks of Alcohol Drinking for Teens Tony: So I headed to Cancun in two days for spring break, and I'm really excited but I'm wondering if I have a friend that’s passed out, how do I know if I should just let him sleep it off or if I should really seek medical attention? Dr. Travis Stork: If you can't wake someone up -- here’s what happens when you drink too much alcohol, and this what today is all about. Involuntary responses go away like breathing. Dr. Jim Sears: It’s important. Tony: Yeah. Dr. Travis Stork: You’ve got a gag reflex. It prevents you from when you vomit, from choking on it. You leave a friend unattended if they're not responsive, they can vomit and literally choke to death on the vomit. Dr. Jim Sears: Because their gag reflex is so suppressed. Dr. Travis Stork: It’s gone. Dr. Jim Sears: It’s gone. Dr. Travis Stork: So that vomit literally goes to the back of their throat, it closes off the airway, and if no one’s there to help them, they will die. I've seen it. So, if your friend is vomiting, if they have a regular breathing, anything less than 12 times a minute; the other thing is if you see any blueness whatsoever around their lips, you’ve got to call 911. In the meantime, what you want to do is you want to keep someone sitting up so that if they do vomit, it comes out not into their airway, and if you can't even get them to sit up, you got to lay them on their side. I worked in the RT University, and it’s not uncommon for university students to come in and actually have to be intubated, have an artificial airway to get them through the night alive. The next morning after the alcohol is metabolized, they usually wake up with a terrible hangover but if they were in that ER, they may not be alive the next morning. So, Matthew, you're 17, and I want you as much as possible to respect the fact that your mom is going to tell you things that you want to hear, and every time you're with your friends, I want you to remember the story of kids I've taken care of who have not made it back from the spring break, okay. You’ve got to think about that so have fun. Matthew: I don’t want to go now, after all this, I'm overwhelmed. Dr. Travis Stork: I want you to go and have fun Dr. Lisa Masterson: You can have fun but you know that even in San Diego that 17 is not the legal drinking age, right. Matthew: Yeah. Dr. Lisa Masterson: You're not supposed to be drinking. Dr. Travis Stork: So, it’s one of those things where you got a son Daniel, we all know him and we love, and he’s such a great kid but he’s a freshman at college. You have to worry about him. Dr. Lisa Masterson: The biggest thing is communication because we all know that kids are going to do things that they shouldn’t but the thing is that we have to try and tell them the risks because we don’t want to aspirating or vomiting while you're drunk, we don’t want you getting in a car with somebody who’s drunk or driving when you're drunk, and basically, we want the rest of you alive. That’s what we worry about as moms and parents, and the more you can have communication, we don’t -- Dr. Jim Sears: As a pediatrician, I can't condone you guys -- anybody that’s’ underage to drink it all because it’s just not healthy for you but I'm glad you guys are being so open about this, and I'm curious Janet, what do you think about how many kids are open with their parents about drinking or not? Janet Taylor: Well, most parents overestimate how open their kids really are so 90% of parents will say, “Oh yeah, we have a great relationships open,” and less than 40% of the kids will say, “Oh yeah, it’s really open.” So, I think the point is it’s an ongoing conversation, and I admire the fact that you can sit here Matthew and talking to your mom. So, that takes a lot of good and that just has to continue and continue. Dr. Travis Stork: Yes, it does. So, you know what, in the end it’s about education. Tony, Matthew, great questions, thank you. Janet thanks for your help.
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