A new study has revealed that at least one in 10 children in their final year of primary school has drunk alcohol in the last week.
The disturbing report from the Schools Health Education Unit states that 13 per cent of boys aged 10 or 11 and 10 per cent of girls of the same age told researchers they had consumed an alcoholic drink in the previous seven days.
The survey also found that one in 100 young boys said they had drunk an alcoholic beverage during three of the last seven days.
The researchers found that as the children got older, they drank more, with a third of Year 10 children (aged 14 and 15) claiming to drink at least once a week.
Of the Year 10 girls polled, 17 per cent said they had been drunk at least once in the past seven days.
Some 68,000 youngsters aged 10 to 15 were questioned on a variety of topics for the study.
Emily Robinson from the charity Alcohol Concern said the findings relating to the children's drinking habits were 'frightening'.
"This kind of drinking can have all sorts of impact on a child's development. We have to face the fact that this is happening and get a grip on it," she said.
Frightening? Or do you think children of this age might exaggerate to appear 'cool'?
More on Parentdish: Teen problems and advice: Drinking
More:Advice And Health
Suggested For You
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more