Effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Essay by professordebUniversity, Bachelor's December 2007

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Effects of Fetal Alcohol SyndromeNovember 30, 2007Effects of Fetal Alcohol SyndromeFetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a major health issue in the United States, which, is known to be a preventable health problem. The condition is caused through prenatal consumption of alcohol with the outcome of children born with birth defects and mental retardation. Research is available with statistics on FAS and the studies vary widely depending on the research population studied and the surveillance method used. High rates of FAS were found among blacks and American Indian/Alaska Natives born between 1995 and 1997. The study's findings are published in the May 24, 2002 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Karen Hymbaugh (2002) reports, "Fetal alcohol syndrome continues to exist, and it is a totally preventable birth defect. Health-care providers should be as vigilant as possible in trying to identify children with fetal alcohol syndrome" (p.). Women can prevent FAS by not drinking alcohol while pregnant.

Characteristics of FASAlcohol purchase is legal and widespread which carries few restrictions, so women of all economical and social backgrounds have equal access to alcohol products, which cause damage to developing fetus. Alcohol is one of the most harmful and available drugs in the United States. Research links alcohol consumption and fetal damage as affecting 1 in 750 live births' (Gardner p.6). Children with FAS may show some of the following characteristics:a) Low birth weight, less than 4lbs. when the average birth weight is 7lbs.

b) Facial features with abnormalities such as small eye openingsc) Neuro-developmental abnormalities: Sleep and sucking disturbances in infancyd) Congenital abnormalities: fingers, toes, arms, and hand bones show skeletal defectse) Poor reasoning and judgment skills, mental retardation, or low IQThe effects of FAS on children vary and many are at risk for psychiatric problems, criminal behavior, unemployment,