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Image  of human embryoBetter Safe Than Sorry: Preventing a Tragedy
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Answers to Better Safe Than Sorry Video Worksheet  

What are some of the characteristics of individuals damaged by maternal alcohol abuse?

The most severe form of alcohol-related birth defects is Fetal Alcohol
Syndrome (FAS). Facial characteristics of FAS include:

  • Small eyelid openings (palpebral fissures)
  • Short upturned nose
  • Long poorly defined philtrum (groove between nose and mouth), with a thin upper lip (vermillion border)
  • Reduced size of the head (microcephaly). Additionally, affected individuals have learning difficuluties and behavioral problems

What is the leading known cause of mental retardation in this country?

Maternal alcohol use

At what stages of development can alcohol adversely affect a baby?


Describe how scientists can learn about how alcohol damages a developing individual.

Scientists can do research on animals. Since laboratory animals like mice develop in a manner very similar to humans, scientists can determine when during development alcohol is damaging and how the damage occurs

Is it safer for a pregnant woman to drink beer than wine? Why?

No. Alcohol is present in both beer and wine. Regardless of the type of alcoholic beverage, the same type of damage can occur to the baby.

Can the damage to a developing baby caused by alcohol be cured?

No. This damage is permanent and cannot be cured.

How can alcohol-related birth defects be prevented?

Don’t drink if you are pregnant, are planning a pregnancy, or if there is a chance that you could become pregnant.