Fetal Alcohol awareness day emphasizes preventable disorder

LANSING—The state Senate on Tuesday approved a resolution co-sponsored by Sen. John Proos to designate Sept. 9, 2013 as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day in Michigan.

“Prenatal exposure to alcohol can impact the health of a baby, including causing birth defects and learning disabilities,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “As a father, I co-sponsored this resolution because of the importance of raising awareness of this critical – and entirely preventable – disorder.

“On the ninth day of the ninth month of the year, Michigan will join the world in reminding expectant mothers to abstain from alcohol during the nine months of pregnancy.”

Senate Resolution 80 urges all citizens to increase their knowledge of the effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol, to increase their level of compassion for individuals affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and to do all within their power to reduce the incidence of the disorder in Michigan.

“It has been more than 30 years since researchers identified and designated fetal alcohol syndrome as a birth disorder, yet it is estimated that more than 30,000 newborns each year are affected by the disorder – a rate of one of every 100 live births,” Proos said. “Our children are the most valuable and important resource we have. We owe it to our great state to do all we can to ensure our future generations are healthy and ready to lead.”

Worldwide, people have observed International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Awareness Day on Sept. 9 of each year since 1999, and the U.S. Senate has designated the day as National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day.

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