ATLANTA, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Parents should talk to their kids about the risks of alcohol, which can include violent and suicidal behavior, U.S. health officials say.
Dr. Danice Eaton, a research scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said drinking, fighting and attempted suicide are both short- and long-term threats to children's health.
Three-quarters of U.S. high-school students say they've drunk alcohol -- more than 1-in-3 in the past month -- while 1-in-3 were in a physical fight during the past year, Eaton said.
"High school boys are most likely to have been in a physical fight. On the other hand, girls are most likely to have seriously considered attempting suicide, and to have drunk alcohol," Eaton said in a statement.
Parents should also "discuss with their teens the importance of choosing friends who do not act in dangerous or unhealthy ways," Eaton said. "And parents should make a habit of knowing where there teen is, and whether an adult is present."