IT'S that time of the year again, when the festive season can potentially turn into a frightening scenario for young people and children.
For adolescents, increased peer pressure and more free time frequently lead to alcohol and drug abuse, which is often associated with the alarming rate of teen suicides, fatal car accidents, drownings, as well as crime and violence.
Children's rights organisations are expecting a rise in the number of calls from children exposed to drunken and drugged abusers over this period.
During this time, children regularly bear the brunt of marital disputes, fuelled by alcohol and drugs.
In addition, many children are sexually abused over this period, often committed by relatives staying over the festive season. Once again, mind-altering substances play a role.
By all means, have fun during this joyful time, but please, not at the expense of the most vulnerable - our children.
Steven Thomson, Hout Bay