What is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which can affect children whose mothers drank alcohol during pregnancy, is presently the leading cause of mental retardation in the western world, occurring in an estimated 1 in 500 to 700 births.

The amount of alcohol needed to cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or FAS, varies from person to person.  Full blown or classic FAS is most likely to occur when mothers drink moderate to high amounts during pregnancy.  Doctors have not found a safe drinking level for pregnant women.  In addition, studies have shown that excessive drinking is dangerous at every stage of pregnancy.  Whenever drinking stops, chances for having a healthier baby improve.

Children with FAS are often affected in common ways, usually physically, behaviorally, and mentally.  For example, babies born with FAS are usually small at birth, have wide spread eyes, a short upturned nose, and a thin upper lip.  Children with FAS also usually have a mild degree of mental retardation and may have trouble with attention span and speech.

If you would like more information on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, call The Arc at 734-729-9100.

Phone code: 1702

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