We are in the graduation ceremony season.
It's a time to celebrate, but also a good opportunity for parents to talk to their teenagers about the dangers of alcohol.
The National Institutes of Health is asking parents to talk to their teens about the dangers of drinking at graduation parties.
"It's worth having the conversation that alcohol is a toxin. It can harm your body. It has impact on your driving and your judgment where you can harm another person," Dr. Ellen Rome said.
NIH researchers estimate about 1.7 million young people ages 12-20 drink heavily.
They say a teenager's brain is still developing and is very sensitive to alcohol's effects.
Short term effects of alcohol include loss of balance and blurred vision, which can make typical activities, like crossing a busy intersection, very dangerous.
Parents are being urged to point out the trouble their graduate could get into if they are caught drinking under age. Talk to your graduates about alcohol poisoning, which can lead to permanent brain damage, or even death.
"You can have the choice of putting that drink to your mouth or just putting it aside and no alcohol poisoning happens when somebody doesn't drink. So, help them have the skills and the tools and the words to say to keep themselves safe," Dr. Rome said.
Studies have shown parents can make a difference, so talking to your graduating teen could help prevent a life changing mistake.