drunk childrenAlarming new statistics show that children under the age of ten are being treated for alcohol addiction in the UK. A freedom of information request was sent to all hospital trusts in England – and shockingly it would appear that the given statistics are likely to be even higher as 67 trusts did not comply or respond with their own figures.

Between 2008 and 2012 a total of 380 children aged 10 or under retreated four alcohol intoxication. One of the most worrying incidents was that of a drunk seven-year-old boy in Sussex who was addicted to alcohol. These distressing figures which will worry parents everywhere show that many children are showing mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol consumption.

Some of the information given by hospitals was quite vague and that can only be assumed that in most of these cases alcohol may have been consumed accidentally. However, giving alcohol to young children is tantamount to abuse and neglect and in one incident a baby under the age of one was hospitalised with a head injury that he had sustained whilst under the influence of alcohol. Like children unknown to try and drink anything as they do not know what to is the fact that parents are leaving such a dangerous substance lying around in easy access to children must ring warning bells to the relevant authorities.

When a parent is addicted to alcohol they may be so often intoxicated that they are exposing their children to potentially fatal dangers. If someone has such a problem with alcohol that they are unable to keep out of the way of their children then question should be raised if they are fit to take care of them at all. The offspring of addicts may be genetically predisposed to having a higher chance of becoming an addict in later life, but what sort of example is a parent setting by giving a very young child and alcoholic drink. How on earth the baby under the age of one become drunk without parental assistance is pretty much inconceivable. Most under one’s require some sort of help with the cup, bottle or beaker and it’s horrifying to think that these innocent young lives are being placed in such danger.

A recent study indicates that 22% of children live with the parent who drinks “hazardously.” Perhaps it is a lack of education or maybe is just plain neglect but these children are placed at risk. Children of alcoholics are likely to have erratic home life and may suffer from low self-esteem. As the parent falls under the grip of addiction they are less likely to fulfil the roles and responsibilities of being a parent often children who are in the situation take on the parental role.

I can’t imagine anyone finding this acceptable and if this sounds like you or anyone you know then please, for the sake of the children, seek help immediately. The cost of alcohol must be broken, and indeed can be.