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'Drunk children statistics are deeply alarming'

Nearly 300 children aged 11 or under were admitted to accident and emergency units across the UK last year after drinking too much.

A Freedom of Information request by BBC Radio 5 live found that more than 6,500 under-18s were taken to hospital with alcohol-related illnesses.

Elaine Hindal, chief executive of Drinkaware, told the Today programme's John Humphrys, that parents should be "alarmed and deeply concerned" by the findings.

It is the first time UK-wide figures have been revealed.

The findings also showed that there was a longer-term fall in the number of children admitted to A&E after drinking too much - with 2,000 fewer children than in 2009.

Ms Hindal added that there was "great pressure" on parents to provide alcohol for their children at sleepovers and parties, and they should be aware of their own behaviour around their children.

"We are beginning to see a normalisation on excessive drinking to the point of drunkenness," she added.

Morten Draegbo, an A&E consultant at Cross House hospital in Kilmarnock, also outlined the cases that he has become accustomed to dealing with.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday 30 September 2013.

  • 30 Sep 2013
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