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Children 'dying before parents'

Tuesday April 13th 2010

Preventable diseases such as obesity and tooth decay are reaching epidemic levels among children, doctors at one of the UK's leading hospitals have warned.

The huge growth in the number of avoidable health complaints could lead to a generation dying before their parents, according to medical staff from Liverpool's Alder Hey Children's Hospital.

Staff said there has been a considerable increase in the amount of time spent dealing with avoidable conditions, strengthening some people's desire to buy health choices plans and income protection insurance.

Dr Steve Ryan, medical director at Alder Hey, told the BBC: "It just shouldn't be happening.

"These children should not be suffering from these problems and they should not be here at this hospital.

"People are starting to say maybe this is a generation where children will be dying before their parents."

Alder Hey is one of Europe's biggest children's hospitals, providing care for more than 200,000 children each year.

BBC's Panorama programme claimed around £1 million and hundreds of hours of treatment time were being spent treating obesity, tooth decay, alcohol abuse and health complaints associated with passive smoking.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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