BSTS Blog Series: “Protecting unborn babies from alcohol-related harm”
Written by Nathalie P
The Need for Public Education about FASD/ND-PAE
Through health classes in school, we have learned that consuming alcohol while pregnant is a problem. However, I believe kids and teenagers don’t learn enough about the damage drinking during pregnancy can cause. We are taught that alcohol use increases rates of violence, crime, and sometimes death or suicide. What schools should also teach us is that consuming it even before you know you are pregnant can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or other Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). These problems can range from physical birth defects to “functional” birth defects, which may include intellectual disability, learning issues, mood outbursts, and other psychiatric or behavior problems. These are serious and irreversible effects on the life of a child.
The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism have programs available for high school, middle school, and elementary school teachers to educate children and adolescents about FASD. These programs are available online through the following websites:
NOFAS FASD Kindergarten through 12th Grade Education and Prevention Curriculum: http://www.nofas.org/k-12-curriculum/
UNC-CH Better Safe than Sorry Curriculum: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Science/curriculum.html