Health Watch
Highlights:
  • International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day is celebrated annually on September 9th
  • The main objective of FASD Awareness Day is to raise awareness on the harmful effects of drinking alcohol during a pregnancy
  • No amount of alcohol at any time is safe during pregnancy
  • FASD has no cure, and the only prevention is to not drink alcohol during pregnancy

International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day is celebrated every year on September 9th. It aims to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking during pregnancy and the plight of individuals who struggle with FASD.

FASD Awareness Day is celebrated every year by ringing 'Minute of Reflection' bells at 9.09 am in every time zone from New Zealand to Alaska.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

FASD is a group of conditions that occurs to a baby when the mother drank alcohol during pregnancy.

A person with FASD has a mixture of physical problems, behavioral problems and problems with learning.

Causes of FASD

FASDs are caused by pregnant women drinking alcohol. The alcohol in the mother's blood passes to the fetus through the umbilical cord.

There is no safe amount or time to drink during pregnancy. Alcohol could also cause problems when consumed before the woman knows she's pregnant as the woman could get pregnant and not know about it for 4-6 weeks.

Prevention of FASD

The only prevention for FASD is to not drink alcohol during pregnancy. It is never too late for a woman to stop drinking alcohol during pregnancy, as the baby's brain growth takes place throughout the pregnancy.

The sooner a woman stops drinking, the better it will be.

Diagnosis of FASD

Based on the symptoms, there are three types of FASD diagnosis.

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) - It is the most involved end of the FASD spectrum. People with FAS can have a mix of problems such as central nervous system (CNS) problems, growth problems, minor facial features, learning problems, memory issues, visual and hearing problems.
  • Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND)-People with ARND have intellectual disabilities and problems with learning and behavior. They can have difficulties with memory, attention, math, judgement, and poor impulse control.
  • Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD) - People diagnosed with ARBD Supplements might have a mix of problems related to heart, bones, kidneys or with hearing.

Treatment of FASD

FASDs lasts a lifetime and has no cure. Early intervention could improve a child's development.

Meditation, behavior and education therapy, parent training and other approaches are commonly used as treatment options.

A number of factors help reduce the effects of FASDs. They are:

  • Diagnosis of FASD before 6 years of age
  • A stable, loving and nurturing home environment during school years
  • Absence of violence
  • Involvement in social services and special education

Facts about FASD

  • No amount of alcohol and exposure to all types of alcoholic beverages is a risk to the developing baby during pregnancy
  • Around 40,000 babies are born every year with FASDs
  • A developing baby is exposed to the same concentration of alcohol as the mother
  • The rates of FASDs are estimated to be comparable with the rates of autism
  • Up to 1 in 20 US children may have an FASD

History about FASD Awareness Day

International Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Day was initiated by Bonnie Buxton, Brian Philcox and Teresa Kellerman, parents of children diagnosed with FASD, in early 1999.

Buxton thought "What if, on the 9th minute of the 9th hour of the 9th day of the 9th month of the year 1999, we asked the world to remember that during the 9 months of pregnancy, a woman should remain alcohol-free?"

The first FAS Day was celebrated on September 9, 1999, in Auckland, New Zealand.

International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Day

FASD Day is celebrated on 9th September so that on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year, the world would remember to abstain from alcohol during pregnancy.

Every year, 'Minute of Reflection' bells ring at 9.09 am in every time zone from New Zealand to Alaska.

The main aim of FASD Day is to spread awareness of the harmful effects of drinking alcohol during pregnancy and to offer support to families with children diagnosed with FASD.

How to Get Involved in FASD Awareness Day

  • Start a support group to spread awareness on FASD and to support families with children diagnosed with FASD.
  • Plan a walk-along to create awareness and the importance of not drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
  • Join non-profit organizations and donate and support families with FASD children
  • Share information of FASD on social media and your contacts and advise them on the harmful effects of drinking alcohol during pregnancy

In conclusion, the only way to prevent fetal alcohol spectrum disorders is to abstain from drinking alcohol during pregnancy. It is crucial to spread awareness of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) and help support families with children diagnosed with FASDs.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day

References
  1. First International FASDAY - (http://www.fasday.com/FASDAYFirst.htm)
  2. 2020 FASD Awareness Month/Day Packet - (https://www.nofas.org/fasdmonth/)
  3. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) - (https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/facts.html)
  4. Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders International Awareness Day 2020 - (https://www.awarenessdays.com/awareness-days-calendar/foetal-alcohol-spectrum-disorders-international-awareness-day-2020/)



Source: Medindia

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