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Kids 'allowed to get drunk abroad'

Children as young as six are being allowed by their parents to drink alcohol abroad on holiday, according to a survey.

As many as 44% of the children under the age of 18 given permission to partake in alcohol became drunk, the poll by travel agent sunshine.co.uk found.

Overall, 26% of parents surveyed said they had let children under 18 drink alcohol on foreign trips. Of these parents, the majority (55%) had given the go ahead for 15 to 17-year-olds.

A total of 23% had allowed 12 to 14-year-olds to drink alcohol, while 18% had let nine to 11-year-olds do so and 3% had given permission to six to eight-year- olds.

A total of 1,782 British parents, each with a child under the age of 18, who had been away with their children on a foreign trip in the last 12 months, were involved in the survey.

Asked why they had allowed their under-age child to drink alcohol abroad, parents' top reason was that they thought it was legal abroad. Others reckoned it was easier to get away with it abroad, while some wanted their children to have fun on holiday.

Sunshine.co.uk managing director Chris Clarkson said: "Parents that think the legal drinking age differs abroad should always check their facts, because in most places it's still 18 or 21.

"A glass of wine with a meal for a teenager is sometimes acceptable, but letting your underage child get drunk, especially in a strange environment, is very irresponsible, not to mention dangerous. To see that some parents were letting their youngsters drink alcohol abroad on holiday from the age of six was, quite frankly, appalling."

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