for Parents on Keeping Children Drug Free
U.S. Department of Education
Your Elementary School Child
child this age usually shows increasing interest in the world outside
the family and home. Discuss how anything you put in your body that
is not food, water or juice can be extremely harmful, and how drugs
interfere with the way our bodies work and can make a person very
sick or even cause them to die. (Most children of this age have
had real-life experiences with the death of a relative or a friend's
relative.) Explain the idea of addictionthat drug use can
become a very bad habit that is hard to stop. Praise your children
for taking good care of their bodies and avoiding things that might
the time your children are in third grade, they should understand
poisons, medicines and illegal drugs differ;
prescribed by a doctor and administered by a responsible adult may
help during illness but can be harmful if misused, and therefore
children need to stay away from any unknown substance or container;
may drink in moderation but children may not, even in small amounts
because it's harmful to children's developing brains and bodies.
leaving elementary school, your children should know:
immediate effects of alcohol, tobacco and drug use on different
parts of the body, including coma and death;
long-term consequences of drug use, including addiction and loss
of control of one's life;
reasons why drugs are especially dangerous for growing bodies; and
problems that alcohol and other illegal drugs cause not only to
the user, but to the user's family and the world.
elementary school children frequently ask about drugs:
would people want to put bad things in their bodies?
One answer might be that they might not realize how dangerous the
bad things are; another is that they are not taking care of themselves.
Sometimes people start using a drug just to see what it feels like,
but it can turn into an addiction (like cigarettes) and it's very
hard to stop using it.
can't I taste that "grown-up" drink?
A small amount of alcohol has a much greater negative effect on
a child's body than on an adult's; even a small amount can sicken
more information on helping your child stay drug-free, visit: