The UK’s Liberal Democrat party have published figures showing that children under the age of eight have been admitted to A&E units for alcohol-related problems 95 times in the past 12 months.
The data also reveals that the number of admissions involving girls under the age of 18 has risen by almost 50% in the last five years.
In 2001/02, there were 3,084 admissions involving girls, which rose to 4,538 in 2006/07.
Admissions involving boys under the age of 18 rose by almost 25% in the same period – from 3,013 to 3,686.
The Lib Dems said that boys under eight accounted for 57 admissions in 2006/07 while girls accounted for 38.
The party’s health spokesman, Norman Lamb, said: “These are shocking figures, reflecting a culture where binge drinking is truly out of control.
“A child admitted to hospital because of alcohol before their ninth birthday is likely to suffer dreadful health consequences later in life.
“These children cannot wait. We need urgent action on all fronts to reverse this trend.
“The responsibility is not just on Government but on drinks manufacturers, retailers and parents to recognise the scale of the problem.”
Copyright © PA Business 2008