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Last Updated: Thursday December 17 2009 14:03 GMT

Under-15s shouldn't drink alcohol

Bottles of wine and beer

Under 15s warned off alcohol

England's top doctor says children younger than 15 years old should never be allowed to drink alcohol.

At the moment the law says kids are allowed to drink at home with their parents from the age of five.

Some parents give children a small amount when they're young so they can get used to it slowly and drink responsibly when they're older.

But Sir Liam Donaldson says that's likely to give kids a taste for beer or wine and encourage them to drink more.

It's not the first time Sir Liam called for an alcohol ban for under-15s. Now he's backing it up with some new figures.

He said: "Across England 500,000 children between the ages of 11 to 15 years will have been drunk in the past four weeks."

teen drinking
Health experts are worried that children are drinking too much too young

And now some new official guidelines have been brought out saying under-15s should drink no alcohol, with under-17s drinking only under supervision from their parents.

There's going to a big publicity campaign to make people aware of the new guidelines at the beginning of next year.