Dazed, confused, drunk – and he’s just 11 years old

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Politics and business reporter

A BOY stumbles along a Hampshire street dazed and confused in the early hours.

Distressed and unsure of his surroundings from consuming too much alcohol an adult passer-by notices and calls the emergency servicess.

When the ambulance crew arrive they are surprised to find the boy is just 11 years old.

Ambulace crews responding to under age drinkers is bot uncommon but when they are as young as 11 it is of great concern.

South Central Ambulance manager Tim Churchill said: "We get calls because someone is sick or sleepy, or at the end of the spectrum where they are unconscious.

"There is a lot of peer pressure when they are out in public places. Even someone without the intention to drink may end up consuming alcohol, and more than they wish to.'' He warned of the dangers of consuming too much alcohol, whose effects are often underestimated. "They are not thinking rationally, they can fall and injure themselves, and they can bump into all sorts of unsavoury characters,'' he said.

Mr Churchill said a major concern was adults buying alcohol for children or allowing them access to drink at home.

Mr Churchill added: "Education is the key. It needs to be from all of us. We should all lead youngsters by example as adults and as parents.

"Parents should impress upon them if they are under age they shouldn't be drinking alcohol in public places. Adults should be setting a good example which we don't always see.'' The ambulance service is the latest organisation to join the police, youth projects, health experts and others in backing our call to Keep Kids Sober.

Our campaign encourages adults and parents - as the main source of alcohol for younger children, according to national statistics - to take a more active and responsible role in teaching them about the harmful effects of alcohol and to think before supplying them with drink.

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