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Last Updated: Wednesday May 09 2007 07:49 GMT

Child carers need more support

Michael , five, helps care for his mum Janine

Children who care for their disabled or elderly relatives aren't getting enough help from the government, according to a charity set up to support them.

The Princess Royal Trust says thousands of young carers in the UK struggle to cope with everything they have to do.

It follows the case of a 13-year-old girl who died after taking medicine that was prescribed for her sick mum.

The charity says problems with child carers aren't always spotted and wants the government to do more to help.

There are at least 175,000 child carers in the UK, but it's thought many more kids keep quiet about being a carer.

Children who care for family members that can't look after themselves are often responsible for doing things like cooking and cleaning for them.

That means lots of them don't have much time for things that most kids get to enjoy, like hobbies or spending time with friends.

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