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David Schwimmer’s 5-Year-Old Likes Beer, But Is It Safe?

Photograph by Getty Images

David Schwimmer, the former star of “Friends,” revealed that his 5-year old daughter Chloe loves beer. He told “Late Night” host Seth Meyers that she’s graduated from kid-friendly juice boxes to the occasional sip of beer.

Schwimmer’s latest role is a sommelier in the series “Feed the Beast,” and to prep for it, he drank plenty of wine. So, when Chloe asked for a sip, her parents obliged.

Schwimmer says he figured if he says no to his daughter, she’ll just want it more. Fortunately, she wasn’t into the grape, but beer? Well, she loves it.

Schwimmer, like many parents, said he believes it’s OK to give a kid an occasional sip.

However, parenting expert Dr. Deborah Gilboa says no. She told Today that studies show that kids who have been allowed a sip or two at an early age are more likely to have a whole drink by the time they get to high school. Also, other studies have shown that kids who are allowed the occasional gulp or two by their parents, they’re more likely to drink in high school—this includes binge-drinking too.

Underage drinking stats are down but it’s still a problem, according to a 2014 study by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. About 8.7 million Americans between ages 12-20 drink. The upside is that binge-drinking and heavy alcohol consumption declined between 2005 and 2014, according to the study.

Kristina Jackson, a research associate at Brown University’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, says the most important thing is to make sure that children know when drinking alcohol is acceptable and when it isn’t.

Jackson added that parents need to consider the message they’re sending could promote dangerous future behavior. Kids who are allowed to have a sip of mom’s chardonnay or dad’s beer are being told it’s OK to drink—especially when it’s offered by a parent.

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