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Image  of human embryoBetter Safe Than Sorry: Preventing a Tragedy
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Possible Discussion Topics

What do you think it would be like to have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)?

As the leading known cause of mental retardation, FAS can result in a reduced I.Q and learning disabilities for an affected individual. Simple tasks of everyday life, such as writing one’s name or understanding money can be very difficult. Individuals with FAS have difficulties with problem-solving and understanding the consequences of their own actions. Many individuals with alcohol-related birth defects require supervision and support throughout their entire lifetimes.
For additional information see “Learning More…A message from someone with FAS.”

Why is it important not to drink while you are pregnant?

Maternal alcohol use during pregnancy can result in damage to the developing baby. This damage can be severe and permanent. For additional information, see the website for the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) http://www.nofas.org/

Why is it important not to drink even if there is a chance that you might be pregnant?

Alcohol can cause damage to the developing baby at all stages of pregnancy. For more information see the CD-ROM included with this curriculum “Facts for Students…Powerpoint Presentation” and the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies’ website at http://www.med.unc.edu/alcohol/education/fas.html

How are families and society affected by alcohol-related birth defects?

Because alcohol-related birth defects can affect an individual’s ability to carry out the simple tasks of everyday life, affected individuals need a strong support network provided by family, friends, schools and the healthcare system. For more information on this topic, visit the website of the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Family Resource Institute at http://www.fetalalcoholsyndrome.org/

What kinds of things can research with laboratory animals tell us about birth defects caused by alcohol?

Scientific research tells us that developing animals can be affected by maternal alcohol exposure, much like humans are. From their work, scientists have learned that there is no safe time during pregnancy for a developing animal to be exposed to alcohol.
For more information see the CD-ROM included in this curriculum “Facts for Students…Powerpoint Presentation” and the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies’ website at http://www.med.unc.edu/alcohol/ed/fas/

How can fathers help improve the health of their unborn babies?

During pregnancy the father’s life-style and emotional support can affect a mother’s behavior. The mother should be encouraged by the child’s father not to drink alcohol during the pregnancy. For more information on this topic see the March of Dimes website at http://www.modimes.org

How would you "get the word out" to help prevent Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and other alcohol-related birth defects?

Make a poster - Write a song - Make a video - Send a letter - Speak out -
“Don’t drink if you are pregnant. Better safe than sorry.”