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UK gov to issue child boozing guidelines

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The government is to tackle the potential menace posed to society by kids boozing at home - legal from the age of five under "parental supervision" - by issuing guidelines offering "clearer health information for parents on how drinking alcohol at a young age can affect children and young people".

According to the BBC, mums and dads can expect the "very clear" advice from the chief medical officer in the spring, following consultation with parents and experts.

A spokesman for the Department of Health declared: "We currently have guidelines on alcohol consumption for those aged over 18 but none in place for those under 18. Given that it is legal for someone aged over five to consume alcohol and the risks of drinking to the health, development and welfare of children is greater than for adults it is a gap that needs addressing, and that is why we are taking this course of action."

Don Shenker of Alcohol Concern explained it was unclear what constituted a "safe level" of alcohol for the under-15s, and accordingly advised that young-uns "should have no more than a small sip of alcohol".

Conservative health spokesman Mike Penning, sensing a "nanny state" opportunity, duly weighed in with: "This is yet another example of this government's nanny state behaviour by telling people what they should be doing in their own homes." ®

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