BBC Radio 5-live released UK data on under-age drinking for the first time. They said a total of 6,500 people under the age of 18 were admitted to hospital for alcohol-related reasons in 2012 and 2013.
According to public health bodies and charities, fewer children are drinking but those who do seem to be drinking more.
The data, which covers five years, was released after a Freedom of Information request sent to 125 UK NHS organisations.
Prof Ian Gilmore, chairman of the UK Alcohol Health Alliance, told the radio programme: “I think in under-11s, it’s mainly experimenting, but I think we see children in the 11 to 16-year-old range who are beginning to drink regularly.”
He added that although the number of children drinking may have gone down, we should be aware that fewer children are drinking greater quantities.
In 2012 and 2013, there were 293 cases of children aged 11 or under going to A&E with...