Every now and then I buy a newspaper just to give me something else to read. The Mirror was the only paper that had something on education that evoked a wave of emotions in my mind. As the title of this post suggests, this alarmed me to the point of my brain exploding (maybe slightly exaggerated)
Last year nearly 300 children under 11 and around 6500 under 18s were admitted to hospital, all for the same reason: ALCOHOL. These kids were drunk under age!
More girls than boys were involved. Another 1,900 children were admitted after taking drugs, 145 of them under 12.
The alarming figures were revealed after 125 out of 189 health authorities responded to a Freedom of Information request by BBC Radio 5 Live.
The five areas with the biggest problem were in Western and North East Scotland and in South Wales Worst of all was Ayrshire and Arran health board, with 483 hospital admissions.
Doctors said children were found lying in playgrounds, parks or fields trying to hide their drinking.
Morten Draegebo, a consultant at Cross House Hospital in Kilmarnock, said: “We have had many cases where young teenage females come in saying that they may have been sexually assaulted. They don’t even know if they have been or not. I would hate for that to happen to my daughter.”
Officials say fewer children are abusing alcohol than before but those who do drink are drinking more. Public Health England say one in four under-age drinkers downs more than 15 units a week, the equivalent of seven pints of lager.
Health experts say no child should be given alcohol until they are 16.
I wonder how on earth these children have even had access to alcohol in the first place. My suspicion is that they were allowed it by parents, without the required moderation controls. This of course means that these children are almost getting addicted to the alcohol, causing them to drink more and more. These children’s immune systems will not have developed completely so they will be more vulnerable to all sorts of problems. There is no excuse for these incidents happening, and responsibility needs to be taken.
I am not of course saying all parents are bad. There are plenty of fantastic parents out there who are most likely as shocked as I am about this. I certainly hope this is going to be tackled quickly.