Nearly 4,000 children hospitalised with alcohol poisoning last year – including 52 aged under 11

The Daily Mirror reports that shock new figures from the Department of Health have sparked concerns about a potential rise in binge drinking to potentially fatal levels:

‘Hundreds of children are being rushed to hospital every month with alcohol poisoning, shock new figures show. Nearly 4,000 children were taken to A&E last year – including 52 under the age of 11 – said the Department for Health. Sarah Wollaston, chair of the Commons health select committee, warned: “It is a grave risk to young people’s health.”

In total, 3,748 under-18s were admitted to hospital with alcohol poisoning during 2012-13 – more than 300 a month. Dr Wollaston said: “We should be very concerned about who is supplying them.”

The total number of booze-related admissions to hospital among young people is falling. But the number of cases of alcohol poisoning has sparked fears of a sharp rise in binge drinking. Dr Wollaston added: “It would be wrong to think this problem has gone away.”

Among adults, there were almost 82,500 cases of alcohol poisoning in hospitals last year. And the total number of alcohol-related admissions to hospitals has soared by 12% since the Coalition came to power.