September 9th is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day in Toronto

Baby Bump Scramble Takes Over Yonge and Dundas Intersection

TORONTO, Sept. 9, 2014 /CNW/ - The "Baby Bump Scramble" will have men and women of all ages showing their "baby bumps" for the annual Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Day.  This "scramble" will see members of the Toronto FASD Coordinating Network moving between the Yonge and Dundas intersection the morning of September 9.

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.

"No amount of alcohol during pregnancy is safe. Consuming alcohol during pregnancy can cause brain damage, developmental disabilities and other defects," said Sue Makin, Director of Healthy Families, Toronto Public Health. "Give your baby the best start in life possible. It's safest not to drink during pregnancy and to stop drinking when you're trying to get pregnant."

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 FASD.

"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

SOURCE: Children's Aid Society of Toronto

For further information: Rob Thompson, Director, Communications, Children's Aid Society of Toronto: 416-924-4640,


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