14/09/2010 07:46 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

11-Year Olds Need First Aid Lessons To Cope With Binge Drinking, Says Red Cross

Children as young as 11 need first aid lessons in how to cope with binge drinking, the Red Cross has claimed today.

A poll carried out for the charity found that one in seven children aged between11 and 16 have had to cope with friends being heavily sick, getting injured or becoming unconscious from drinking.

Of those who have had to help in an emergency, 47 dialled 999.

Joe Mulligan, a first aid expert at the British Red Cross, said: 'We need to ensure that every young person – irrespective of whether they're drinking – has the ability and confidence to cope in a crisis.'

'It's not just about saving lives – being able to immediately help someone ill reduce pain, minimise distress and speed up the recovery process.'

Twenty-three per cent of the 2,500 youngsters who were polled said they had been drunk three times in the past six months on average, and 36 per cent of 14 to 16 year olds said they got drunk most weekends, consuming an average of 11 units of alcohol.

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

Read our Surviving Teenagers' regular column. This week: talking to teens about alcohol.