Boozy advent calendars 'a countdown to unhealthy lifestyles for our children'
Boozy advent calendars are peddling a dangerous message that could harm children, a health charity has warned.
Calendars containing miniatures of spirits, champagne, wine and craft beer are growing in popularity despite hefty price tags of between €70 and €300.
Eunan McKinney, of Alcohol Action Ireland, said the calendars reinforce the belief that Christmas and alcohol go hand in hand.
"Yes, the amounts in each bottle may seem small but it all adds up over time and will catch up on a person's health," he said.
"The calendars containing drink help to ensure alcohol at times of celebrations and bad times in our lives, from birth to death and every occasion in between, is embedded in our social norms."
According to Alcohol Action Ireland, 88 deaths every month in Ireland are directly attributable to alcohol.
Meanwhile, up to 1,500 hospital beds every night are occupied for alcohol-related reasons. The charity also points out that the average drink intake of every person aged 15 and over in Ireland in 2007 was 11.15 litres of pure alcohol.
Up to €6.8bn was spent by households on drinking, while one in 11 children said that their parents' drinking had had a negative effect on their lives. "We are not trying to be killjoys," said Mr McKinney.
"But the gimmicky way of selling alcohol really can impact on children."