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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome : How Alocohol Affects Infants and Children Essay Example

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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome : How Alocohol Affects Infants and Children

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In fact, in later years these problems have also been linked to other, more severe, social problems such as the incidence of adolescents with FAS being on the wrong side of the law or being in trouble at school. They may also exhibit other mental health issues such as drug addition or engage in other substance abuse (Streissguth, 1997). The study done by Abel and Sokol (1987) shows that exposure to alcohol during pregnancy is amongst the leading causes of mental retardation in America and the incidence rate of FAS is comparable to the incidence rates of other issues such as Down syndrome.Since alcohol is a teratogen, there is no certain safe amount a person can drink to prevent FAS. Therefore, the recommendation from the surgeon general is complete abstinence from alcohol not only for women who are pregnant but also for those who are planning to have a pregnancy (Streissguth, 1997). With the known general affects, it is possible to discuss these affects in detail for the infant after birth and see what possible secondary affects can be observed in the child that has been diagnosed with FAS.For the infant, the affect of FAS can manifest itself as low birth weight or height. These measurements may have to be adjusted for parental likeness, gestational ages or postnatal conditions of life for assessments in later years but birth height and weight is the best measure. This growth deficiency puts the infant in a very low percentile range as compared to normal births and leads to additional risks for the infant’s post natal survival (Streissguth, 1997).Infants with FAS show characteristic deformities which as visible in facial features such as a smooth philtrum, a very thin upper lip and palperbal fissures that show a shortened width of the eyes. The measurements of these changes in the facial structure as compared to a normal child can be helpful in determining the extent of the damage. The damage can then be tabulated as being sever, moderate, mild or no observable damage. Facial deformities are nearly always present with brain damage but there are times when little or no deformities may be accompanied by damage to the Central Nervous System (Streissguth, 1997).While facial deformities might be the most immediate sign of noticing FAS in an infant, the damage to the nervous system and the extent of the damage is the

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Works Cited

Abel, E. and Sokol, R. 1987, ‘Incidence of fetal alcohol syndrome and economic impact of FAS related anomalies’, Drug and Alcohol Dependency, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 51-70.

Clarren, S. et. al. 1978. ‘Brain malformations related to prenatal exposure to ethanol’, Journal of Pediatrics, vol. 92, no. 1, pp. 64-67.

Day, N. 1992, ‘The effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol’, Alcohol Health and Research World, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 328-244.

Forrest, F. and Florey, C. 1991, ‘Reported social alcohol consumption during pregnancy and infant development at 18 months’, British Medical Journal, vol. 303, no. 1, pp. 22-26.

Jones, K and Smith, D. 1975, ‘The fetal alcohol syndrome’, Teratology, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 1-10.

Stratton, K. et. al. 1996, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Prevention, and Treatment. National Academy Press.

Streissguth, A. 1997, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: A Guide for Families and Communities, Brookes Publishing.

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preview essay on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome : How Alocohol Affects Infants and Children
  • Pages: 7 (1750 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Unsorted
  • Level: Undergraduate
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