In this BBC Panorama special we are invited into Alder Hey, Britain’s largest children’s hospital located in Liverpool and what we find is disturbing. The hospital is treating younger and younger children for health problems that are very much preventable. Many of the problems witnessed are the direct result of the children’s lifestyle, from obesity to alcohol misuse, from rotting baby teeth to hearing problems caused by passive smoking. These are factors causing them unnecessary suffering.
Five-year-old Kaitlyn is having nearly half her teeth extracted because she’s been consuming half a mug of tomato ketchup every day, 13-year-old Macaulay has been drinking half a bottle of vodka every Friday night, while five-year-old Leon weighs the same as an average 17-year-old.
Panorama meets the children and the pediatricians treating them and follows them home in an attempt to uncover the root cause of their problems. Reporter Richard Bilton soon discovers that some of the basic health messages from the doctors are not getting through to the parents.
Directed by: Janice Finch