It is possible to drink legally and safely – when you're over 21. But if you're under 21, or if you drink too much at any age, alcohol can be especially risky. Many kids begin drinking as early as middle school or even sooner. This is dangerous. Kids who drink are more likely to be victims of violent crime and sexual assault. They are more likely to have serious problems in school. They are more likely to be involved in drinking-related traffic crashes. They are also more likely to develop problems with alcohol later in life. Kids often begin drinking to look "cool" or fit in with their peers. Parents can do many things to help their kids avoid alcohol problems. Get help for your child if you suspect a drinking problem.