On September 9, 2010 we will celebrate FASD Awareness Day. Each year on the ninth day of the ninth month, we ask people to remember that during the nine months of pregnancy a woman should not drink alcohol. It can cause Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).
FASD is common. It is costly. And it impacts us all. Here in Minnesota, as many as 8,500 babies are born every year with brain damage caused by prenatal alcohol exposure. Nationally FASD affects one out of every 100 live births. That is more than Autism and Down Syndrome combined. And it is the number one cause of mental retardation. We can change this. FASD is 100% preventable.
Awareness needs to be raised about the dangers of drinking during pregnancy. Most women of childbearing age do not know what FASD is. More than half of women of childbearing age drink without knowing whether or not they are pregnant. Unborn children who are damaged by prenatal exposure to alcohol can be born with no outward defects, but can have serious behavior and social problems later in life.
On September 9th, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day will be commemorated around the world. At 9:09 a.m. on that day, bells will be rung in churches, cities, and universities worldwide. This time and date was chosen to remind everyone that a woman should remain alcohol-free for all nine months of pregnancy.
Today is our opportunity to heighten awareness about FASD and its devastating lifelong effects, and to serve as a reminder that FASD is 100% preventable if a woman does not drink alcohol during pregnancy. Please share this information with friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members, and help us ensure that every young woman knows that there is no safe amount, no safe time and no safe kind of alcohol during pregnancy.
For more information on FASD and MOFAS, please go to www.mofas.org.