Primary school pupils will be given lessons on the dangers of alcohol abuse in a new attempt to combat the prevalent binge-drinking culture.
Hull City Council announced the initiative after a survey by the local authorities showed the number of children receiving treatment fior binge drinking had risen by nearly 20% in a year. The research, conducted by the council's support service ReFresh, revealed 133 under-18s were admitted to accident and emergency departments in 2009 while under the influence - including 11 girls under the age of 13.
An event organised by the support service as part of National Alcohol Awareness Week saw 19-year-old Chelsea Moore-Parker speak to Hull City Hall about the dangers of binge-drinking, a local paper reported.
The teenager, who began drinking when she was 12 years old, said she started as she had "nothing else to do" and by the age of 17, Moore-Parker was drinking two litres of vodka a day.
"I stopped when I was 17 and ended up in hospital, where doctors told me I had no stomach lining and, if I carried on, alcohol would kill me.
The teenager added that education was "the key" to preventing youngsters drinking alcohol.
"I would never tell anyone to stop drinking because they are not going to listen, but I would tell them to talk to someone – they need to know what's safe and what isn't", she told the audience.
Around 3,000 schools are to be given the lessons but the majority will take place in secondary schools.
ReFresh service manager Laura Starky said: "We are finding children who are drinking from a young age are now drinking more. We put this down to strong drinks being available at a cheaper price."
Starky added the alcohol abuse education has traditionally been given to Years 9 and 10 but the organisation are now concentrating on the stage when children leave primary school.
"This is the important time for education to begin", Starky added.
Hull Council also recently announced they are considering slashing summer holidays from six weeks to four in order to spread out school breaks more evenly.