Consumption of alcohol by pregnant women has always been considered unhealthy and it was scientifically confirmed in a study by K.L.Jones in the year 1973.
Fetal alcohol syndrome or FAS as it is generally known, affects the physical and mental growth of the child who has been exposed to alcohol during the nine months of pregnancy.
It is the single most avoidable, reason for congenital disease and mental retardation among young infants.
Children suffering from FAS may or may not show symptoms but FAS will generally effect the growth, the intelligence, the performance, the skeleton, the heart, the face and the head of a child.
It has been observed that such children show small development, low birth weight and reduced longitudinal growth.
A FAS child shows irritability, poor fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, hyperactivity and even tremors.
These kids develop a low IQ and generally a mild retardation.
The child suffering from FAS syndrome will have a small head. It may not be apparent as the size is mildly smaller than the average, but this is the result of the reduced growth of the brain.
This can’t be taken lightly and results in poor mental ability and very low learning skills.
The child may also show facial distortion in the form of cleft lips and palate, sagging eyelids, webbed skin between the eyes and around the base of the nose, eyes moving in different directions, etc.
The child may also suffer from hydrocephalus (water in the brain), narrowing aorta, spins bifida and even heart murmurs (due to a hole in the heart).
The skeletal system may also show signs like abnormal joints, short metacarpal bones, hip disorders, incomplete or webbed digits, deformed ribs, bent spine, and the syndrome may also impair the central nervous system.
The FAS is a very dangerous health issue for newborns. It may cause life threatening effects and it will jeopardize the future of the baby.