Be careful of excessive alcohol consumption when Covid restrictions end, doctor warns kids
Pediatrician Nico van der Lely, initiator of the first alcohol outpatient clinic in the Netherlands at the Reinier de Graaf hospital in Delft, warned against "partying extra hard with a lot of alcohol" in the coming period, especially for minors. They drank considerably less alcohol during the lockdowns.
"If everything goes well with the coronavirus figures, social life will largely resume after the summer holidays. Especially now that higher education and sports associations are fully open again in addition to the catering industry, young people can have the idea of catching up after the quiet lockdown months and party extra hard with a lot of alcohol. That also applies to minors."
During the first lockdown last year, the number of children admitted to hospital with alcohol poisoning fell "drastically", but that number rose again "significantly" when there was a temporary relaxation of the coronavirus measures. Van der Lely, together with PhD student Louise Pigeaud, concluded this from research into the data of twelve alcohol outpatient clinics in the Netherlands.
During that first lockdown, from 16 March to 31 May 2020, the number of alcohol poisonings among children decreased by about 70 percent. From 1 June to 14 October, that increased sharply again. "The admissions were then at a comparable level to the same period in 2019," according to the researchers, so before the coroanvirus crisis. At the end of last year, when there was another lockdown, the number of alcohol poisonings went down again.
"First of all, we suspect that it was more difficult for minors to get alcohol due to the closure of catering establishments and sports clubs. Also because supermarkets generally enforce age checks better. In addition, there was more parental supervision at home, because many people worked at home during the pandemic," according to Van der Lely.
Reporting by ANP