Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a condition that is still relatively unheard of yet the number of diagnosed cases has tripled since records began 16 years ago.
FAS is a debilitating condition that is passed on to babies from alcohol consumed by their mother during pregnancy. As well as affecting a child’s physical appearance, Foetal Alcohol Syndrome can also impact hearing, lead to a week immune system, epilepsy and heart, kidney and liver defects to name just a few.
As calls are being made for guidelines to change so that women are urged not to consume any alcohol whatsoever during pregnancy, new research that has been carried out appears to back up these concerns.
In 2012-13, there were 252 diagnoses of the syndrome compared to just 89 in 1997-98. Since 2010, the number of cases have increased by a shocking 37%.
Because there aren’t always any physical signs of the condition, a diagnoses is often missed and victims are left with learning difficulties and an inability to connect emotionally with their peers. Without the proper diagnosis, doctors, parents and teachers think they’re simply dealing with a badly behaved child and therefore the proper care isn’t provided.
Campaigners are calling for the government to take more responsibility and to do more to highlight the consequences of drinking during pregnancy. Luciana Berger, the shadow public health minister commented:
“The government must ensure that expectant mums have the information they need to make informed choices during their pregnancy. Instead, ministers have relied too heavily on the drinks industry to do it for them. The government must stop putting the interests of business before the health of mums and babies and take a bolder approach.”
To learn more about alcohol abuse check out our Alcohol Knowledge Centre. If you are worried that you or someone you know could have a problem with alcohol, please feel free to visit our Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation Page. You can also get help by calling us today.