A pharmacist has sent a warning to English parents following an 'alarming' study that found children in England drink more than elsewhere in the world.

In one of the largest studies of its kind, the World Health Organisation (WHO) examined data from 280,000 children aged 11, 13 and 15 from 44 countries who were asked about their use of cigarettes, vapes and alcohol.

Among other statistics, children aged 11 and 13 in England are the most likely to have ever drunk alcohol compared with youngsters in all the other countries surveyed. 

It has since prompted concerns from health professionals.

Drinking alcohol from an early age can cause numerous physical and mental health issues as the person goes through life.

As a child's body hasn’t properly developed, drinking alcohol can have an impact on the development of vital organs such as the liver, hormones, and brain.

As well as this, research has shown that drinking at an early age can increase the chances of the person involved experimenting with drugs, showing violent behaviour and having numerous sexual partners.

The signs which could indicate that your child is consuming too much alcohol:

  • Displaying angry or irritable behaviour
  • Feeling anxious
  • Changes in overall behaviour
  • Poor memory
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating

Navin Khosla, a pharmacist at NowPatient has shared the following on the dangers of drinking alcohol from an early age and how parents can approach the issue with their children:

“Findings from a recent study have put England above any other country in the world when it comes to children consuming alcohol, which is an alarming statistic that needs to be tackled to protect the physical and mental health of our younger generations.

Recommended reading:

Young people biggest consumers of low and no-alcohol drinks – survey

Number of alcohol-specific deaths at record high

WHO reveals English children worst in world for alcohol use

"Children drinking alcohol won’t necessarily think of the implications it can have on their health further down the line and the same can be said for some parents.

"A child consuming alcohol is at risk of various health issues such as damaging the development of vital organs within the body such as the brain and liver, as well as having a higher chance of experimenting with drugs and more abnormal behaviour, such as violence and underage sex.

"If you’re a parent who has a child consuming alcohol without your permission, then it’s important to have a conversation with them and explain why you have such strong views. Research has shown that children are less likely to drink alcohol if they know their parents disapprove, so make your feelings known in a calm yet firm manner.

"It’s then important to make them aware of the health risks associated with underage drinking and the dangerous situations they could be presented with, such as drink spiking.”