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VIDEO: Teens Given Alcohol To Celebrate End Of Exams

VIDEO: Teens Given Alcohol To Celebrate End Of Exams
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6:29am 18th June 2014
(Updated 6:29am 18th June 2014)

The dad of a teenager who plunged to his death from cliffs in Newquay says he is amazed parents are giving their children booze to celebrate the end of their exams.

Sixteen year old Paddy Higgins fell looking for his mates - after a night drinking beer and Sambucas.

But nearly one in four parents will give alcohol to their children to celebrate the end of their exams this summer, according to a survey by the charity Drinkaware.

The report found that the average child aged between 14 and 17 years old will be rewarded with nine units of alcohol - the equivalent of four cans of beer, a bottle of wine or a third of a bottle of vodka.

The survey also reveals that outside of the exam period, 86% of mums and dads gave their children alcohol because they asked for it.

Elaine Hindal, chief executive of Drinkaware, has warned that purchasing alcohol for under 18s is illegal and that "parents are not exempt".

She said: "The evidence is that if we facilitate alcohol and give permission in the home then that carries on outside, where children are not under supervision."

Between 2010/11 and 2012/13, more than 15,000 under 18s were admitted to hospital because of alcohol.

The charity warns that excessive drinking can leave children open to accidents.

In 2009, 16-year-old Paddy Higgins fell from a cliff and died after drinking Sambuca during post-GCSE celebrations in Newquay.

His father John Higgins said: "It's endemic in UK society that there's a rite of passage where you drink to excess.

"Teenagers see it as the norm to get these moments in life when you can go absolutely stupid and it's accepted, but as with cases like Paddy's accidents happen."

6:29am 18th June 2014

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