Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a group of symptoms and signs that appear in a child together. These signs and symptoms are birth defects that arise due to alcohol consumption during pregnancy by the mother. Children with Fatal Alcohol Syndrome have facial abnormalities, problems in their central nervous system like mental retardation, and they grow less quickly.
In the US, FAS is a main leading birth defects in children, as each year between 5,000 to 12,000 babies are born with this condition. Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is the main cause identified for FAS. The condition is irreversible and permanent. A child suffering from FAS will have problems in vision, memory, hearing, attention span and the ability to learn or communicate.
To identify the problems, the parent should check these symptoms:
- The infant will have poor suckling tendencies, along with poor sleeping habits. And though it is not uncommon in babies to experience sleep and feed confusions in the beginning, prolonged confusion will be alarming. This will make the baby constantly cranky.
- The baby will show irritation habits similar to that of an adult who recently withdraw from alcohol. The baby will cry a lot, and have mood shifts of anger and agitation.
- The infant will have abnormal development. This will include:
- A small head shape
- Undeveloped and small jaws
- Protruding foreheads
- Cleft palates
- Fold of skin that extends from the eye-lids to the sides of the nose
- A small ridge between the upper lip and nose
- Thin upper lip
- Wide-set eyes
- Below average height and weight
- The infant grows with learning difficulties because they are mentally handicapped. This will show in school and before it, as the child will have problems in learning the basics of life, like sitting, crawling, or rolling over.