The number of young teenagers taken to hospital with severe alcohol poisoning went up 13% last year to 337, news agency ANP reports on Thursday.
The average age of the children admitted to hospital was 15, slightly younger than in 2007. The youngest was just 11.
The children had drunk an average of 10 ordinary glasses of alcohol, usually a mixture of sweet pre-mix cocktails and spirits.
The figures come from admissions information collected from 60 hospitals nationwide.
‘Drinking yourself into a coma happens in the best of families. The drinks these children like are sweet, inexpensive and easy to get hold of,’ doctor Nico van der Lely told ANP. Van der Lely has set up clinics to help young drinkers.
Meanwhile, Labour MPs have called for a clampdown on local councils which are refusing to take action against illegal drinking dens, news website nu.nl reports.
Ministers pledged at the end of 2007 to take action against the estimated 1,500 illegal bars in the Netherlands, mainly in rural areas.
Not only are councils afraid of the complaints from youngsters if they close down their drinking dens, but ‘they will have to come up with alternative [entertainment] and that costs money,’ Labour MP Lea Bouwmeester told nu.nl.
MPs are due to debate the drinking den problem with ministers later on Thursday.
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