Ryerson University to host "Pregnant Pause"
TORONTO, Sept. 20, 2012 /CNW/ - Men and women of all ages will be
showing their "baby bumps" for the annual Fetal Alcohol Spectrum
Disorders (FASD) Day "Pregnant Pause" this year being held on the
campus of Ryerson University in downtown Toronto.
This annual event put on by the Toronto FASD Coordinating Network is a
reminder to everyone that during the nine months of pregnancy, women
should abstain from alcohol.
"There is no safe time and no safe amount of alcohol in pregnancy. The
message is clear today - alcohol and pregnancy do not mix," said Dr.
David McKeown, the Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto.
FASD is an umbrella term used to describe the range of physical,
cognitive, learning and behavioural impairments that can occur in
individuals whose mothers consumed alcohol during pregnancy. According
to Health Canada, FASD is the most common developmental disability,
occurring in about one of every 100 births. In Canada, the economic
impact is estimated to be $5.3 billion annually for special education,
mental health, social services, addictions and the justice system.
Research indicates that school age children with FASD under perform as
compared to their non FASD peers. Early diagnosis and access to
appropriate intervention tends to reduce mental health and addiction
problems, family breakdown, conflicts with the law, homelessness and
unemployment, all of which are common in adolescents and adults with
"Our school system is not prepared to deal with the number of children
who struggle with FASD -- they need dedicated classrooms", said
FASworld Toronto President, Gal Koren.
To reduce the rate of FASD, it is essential that pregnant women are
provided with information and support in an effort to increase their
awareness of the harmful effects of using alcohol during pregnancy. The
Toronto FASD Coordinating Network is made up of representatives from
Toronto Public Health, Bridgeway Family Homes, Catholic Children's Aid
Society of Toronto, Jean Tweed Centre, Children's Aid Society of
Toronto, Hospital for Sick Children, Child Development Institute,
Toronto Children's Services and FASworld Canada.
More information about the most common, most expensive, yet most
preventable disability in the industrialized world is available at http://fasday.com.
SOURCE: Children's Aid Society of Toronto
For further information:
Rob Thompson, Director, Communications
Children's Aid Society of Toronto: 416-924-4640