Our country is witnessing the significant impact alcohol-related birth
defects are having on our society. These birth defects are caused by maternal use
of alcohol during pregnancy which are irreversible, yet preventable. According to
The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, "Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
is the name given to a group of physical and mental birth defects that are the direct
result of a woman's drinking during pregnancy." It impacts the family, education
system, health system and social services in general, as well as individual losses.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is considered the most common known cause of mental
retardation in the Western World. There is no known cure for this disorder. Fetal
Alcohol Syndrome is the only cause of birth defects that are totally one hundred
percent preventable. Through education and intervention these defects can be
stopped. In knowing how Fetal Alcohol syndrome can be prevented, what the
symptoms are, and who and what makes up the risk factors Fetal Alcohol
syndrome can be better understood.
Americans need to consider the life of their
children, and need to learn about fetal alcohol syndrome, know its effects, and how
to diagnose it. Let's begin by looking at education.
Communities, schools, and concerned individuals can help to prevent Fetal
Alcohol Syndrome, through education and intervention. Special efforts should be
directed toward educating women, prior to and during the childbearing years,
regarding the harmful effects of alcohol on the developing fetus. Major efforts at
all levels of society should be made to develop quality educational programs
regarding the deleterious consequences of alcohol on the unborn child. These
programs should be integrated into mandatory curriculum for all high school
students. They should be a part of the educational curriculum in all post-secondary
and adult centers of learning. Pediatricians and other health professionals...