A girl aged just six was rushed to hospital last year after consuming dangerous levels of alcohol, it has been revealed.
It is not known how the little girl came by the alcohol but she was treated at Eastbourne District General Hospital.
And a Freedom of Information request has shown that she was one of 198 young people under 17 to have been treated for drink or drug abuse in East Sussex hospitals in the past five years.
Commenting on the case, Alcohol Concern chief executive Don Shenker said: “In terms of the six-year-old being admitted to hospital it should ring alarm bells to parents.”
“It is very worrying and alarming that children as young as six and nine have drunk this much alcohol,” he warned.
Dr Shenker was also referring to the case last month of a nine-year-old boy from the nearby Brighton and Hove area, who was found to be an alcoholic.
In a case described as “very serious”, the child was found to belong to a family who had been causing havoc in their neighbourhood.
They were reported to have generated around 13 complaints a month for criminal damage and vandalism.
However, the youngster, who cannot be named, was given medical help and is now said to have stopped drinking.
His addiction was discovered after officials from Brighton and Hove Council launched an inquiry into problem tenants.
The senior anti-social behaviour officer at the Council, Richard Jordan, commented at the time: “They were a really chaotic family and in the middle of it all we learned the nine-year-old had a drink problem.
“To see someone this young with an alcohol dependency is extremely sad.”
Tom Scanlon, also from Brighton and Hove Council, also commented on a survey that showed 58 per cent of 10 to 15-year-olds had drunk alcohol in Brighton and Hove. He said parents often supplied the alcohol, commenting: “They don’t realise the damage their children are doing to their bodies.”
Last year a survey of England’s regional drinking habits found children as young as eleven were drinking the equivalent of nearly two bottles of wine a week.
The survey, released by the NHS Information Centre, measured the average alcohol consumption figures for children based on those who had drunk alcohol in the last week.
In October last year a report by Alcohol Concern showed “increasingly rampant” underage drinking is having a devastating impact on our society.
Amongst the report’s shocking findings, the alcohol awareness charity said that more girls than boys were admitted to hospital for alcohol problems between 2004 and 2009.
An average of 13 girls a day were admitted to hospital from A&E during the time period compared with 10 boys a day, according to the report.