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A syndrome causing mental and behavioral challenges among infants is highly preventable, but affecting thousands yearly, which is why Governor Ted Strickland is declaring a day of awareness.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome affects nearly 40,000 infants yearly, causing mental, behavioral, and physical challenges. September 9 (09/09) is being declared Fetal Alcohol Awareness Day to commemorate the 'nine months' of a woman's pregnancy. Nationally, the day has been set aside since 1999, and in Ohio, Governor Strickland wants to spread that same message.
"It's important because a lot of people don't know that even a small amount can damage an unborn child so we want to get that awareness out there," says Kris Headley, Prevention Coordinator for Muskingum Behavioral Health.
Drinking alcohol during any portion of a woman's pregnancy can cause brain damage, learning disabilities, physical abnormalities, and social complications to the child. Headley says even the smallest drop of alcohol can have harmful life-long effects.
"It's not OK to have a glass of wine while you're pregnant. it's not OK to go out occasionally because you are taking a risk to that baby," says Headley.
Headley says people should remember the phrase "not one drop." For more information, or if you have questions, call Muskingum Behavioral Health at 740-454-1266.