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Under-16s drink emergency fear

One in seven (14%) youngsters aged between 11 and 16 have witnessed an emergency situation due to a friend drinking too much alcohol, a study has revealed.

According to a poll of 2,500 young people for the British Red Cross, problems that have arisen as a result of drunkenness include friends lying unconscious, getting injured or being heavily sick.

About 10% of respondents have had to deal with sickness, injury or unconsciousness, including situations after drunken fights.

During an emergency situation only one in 10 dialled the emergency services, while just under half contacted their parents.

Almost a quarter (23%) of youngsters surveyed have been drunk themselves, on average three times in the past six months.

More than one in three (36%) 14 to 16-year-olds said they get drunk most weekends, consuming an average of 11 units of alcohol - equivalent to almost a bottle of wine or eight bottles of alcopop at 5%.

The poll was released to mark the new British Red Cross campaign, "Life. Live it", which encourages young people to learn life-saving first aid skills.

Other findings were that 89% of children overall have coped with some sort of health crisis.

Some 27% have witnessed an asthma attack, 33% have dealt with a head injury, 18% with somebody choking and 9% with somebody having an epileptic fit.

Asked how they responded to these incidents, 44% panicked, while 46% did not know what to do.

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British Red Cross