Nearly 700 teenagers hospitalised in alcohol-induced coma last year

The number of young teenagers taken to hospital because they had drunk so much alcohol they were unconscious soared by 37% last year to 684, the Telegraaf reports on Tuesday.

On average, the teenagers are 15 years old and are unconscious for three hours. Twenty-seven children were just 13.
Experts say this figure is an under-estimation of the total, because it only includes children seen by a paediatrician.
The figures are contained in a new report on youth drinking due out today.


In February, health minister Edith Schippers said the government planned to start fining young teenagers caught drinking.
Under-16s caught with alcohol in bars or at events will face a cash penalty if the new legislation becomes law. Bars and shops caught selling alcohol to the under-16s already face fines.
Now 16 and 17-year-olds can buy beer and wine, but consumption of spirits is confined to the over 18s. Dutch teenagers are among the heaviest drinkers in Europe.
The new government has abandoned the previous administration’s plans to allow local authorities to increase the age at which teenagers can buy alcohol from 16 to 18 if they have a problem with juvenile drunks.
In March, several local authorities in Noord-Holland province, including Hoorn and Enkhuizen, urged the government to increase the drinking age because of growing alcohol abuse among youngsters. The problem is particularly acute in rural areas where illegal drinking dens are popular.

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