EAST Lancashire Euro-MP Louise Bours is alarmed at new figures showing tooth decay is the biggest reason why primary schoolchildren are admitted to hospital – almost 500 a week.

The UKIP health spokeswoman, educated at Blackburn College, said: “Particularly worryingly, the figures from Public Health England show 35 per cent of five-year-olds in the North West have tooth decay, as against 27 per cent in England.

"It appears that diet and in particular fizzy drinks and fruit juice are the main culprits and I hope parents take note of these shocking figures and keep a close eye on what their youngsters consume, including sweets.

"As in all things, moderation is key.

In September 2013 figures showed that the proportion of five-year-olds in Blackburn with Darwen with dental problems now stands at 41 per cent down from 51 per cent in 2008.

The proportion was 45 per cent in Pendle, 42 per cent in Burnley and Hyndburn, 31 per cent in Rossendale and 20 per cent in Ribble Valley.