The number of children hospitalised with alcohol poisoning rose again last year to 783, according to child healthcare monitoring organisation Nederlands Signaleringscentrum Kindergeneeskunde.
In 2012 and 2013, around 700 youngsters aged 10 to 17 were taken to hospital after drinking too much. In 2014, the number of girl drunks outstripped boys by a small margin.
The 2014 increase included a ‘notable’ rise in the number of 13 and 14 year olds. ‘We think parents are still turning a blind eye to their children’s use of alcohol,’ paediatrician Nico van der Lely told broadcaster Nos. ‘We are surprised there are so many 13 and 14 year olds. The number of 16 and 17 year olds has gone down slightly.’
This could be due to the introduction of an 18-plus age limit on all alcoholic drinks, he said. ‘Nevertheless, the introduction of the law has not led to a real change in mentality.’
The figures also show the provinces of Noord and Zuid-Holland have the most teenage drunks. In Utrecht province the number of children admitted to hospital after drinking alcohol has doubled and there has been a slight reduction in Noord-Brabant.
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