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Sunday, 24 February 2008

Alcohol is damaging the health of Britain's children

Drink sends 1,000 children a year to hospital

Extract from the Sunday Telegraph:

"Doctors said that without urgent action the spread of drinking among Britain's children would "destroy a generation". In England alone last year, 1,340 under-14s were admitted to hospitals because of alcohol problems.

Dr Rajiv Jalan, a liver expert from the Institute of Hepatology, said that doctors fear five years of childhood drinking could do as much damage as two decades in adulthood. He said that alcohol had a massive effect on a growing child, preventing the proper growth of all the organs, including the brain.

"We are now seeing children as young as 10 and 11 drinking," he said. "We are already seeing 20-year-olds with cirrhosis of the liver and it is only a matter of time before we see that in teenagers.

"We need to act now, because if we wait 20 years we will destroy a generation. It usually takes about 10 or 20 years of drinking above safe limits to cause irreparable damage in adults, but we think it could be as little as five in children.""

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