On August 26, County Judge Jerry Holmes signed a proclamation naming September 9th Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) Awareness Day. On Monday the 9th at 9:09am, there will be a “minute of reflection” and a bell will be rung to call attention to the issue.
The proclamation signed by Judge Holmes states that consuming alcohol while pregnant causes more damage to the fetus than any other substance, “including marijuana, heroin, and cocaine.” It goes on to say that 5000 children are born each year with FAS and ten times as many are born with alcohol related disorders. It also states that FAS in incurable.
The Cleburne County Coalition helps raise awareness every year for FAS. According to information released by them, they are ringing a bell “to remember those living with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome disorders and to remind women not to drink during the nine months of pregnancy, while breastfeeding, or planning to conceive.” If you have a bell, they are encouraging you to ring it on September 9th at 9:09am to show your support in battling this issue.
According to information from the Mayo Clinic, FAS can cause an array of problems, including “physical deformities, mental retardation, learning disorders, vision difficulties, and behavioral problems.” Although effects of FAS can differ from child to child, some of the signs of FAS may include,
Distinctive facial features, including small eyes, an exceptionally thin upper lip
Deformities of joints, limbs, and fingers
Slow physical growth before and after birth
Small head circumference and brain size
Mental retardation and delayed development
Short attention span, hyperactivity, extreme nervousness and anxiety
(Additional information for this article provided by the Mayo Clinic)