Prenatal alcohol syndrome at children is considered congenital physical and psychological abnormalities in child’s development, which is caused by alcohol consumption by a woman during pregnancy and even before conception.
Adverse effect, which causes this syndrome development, is explained by toxins and alcohol decomposition products influence on the fetus. This is possible because of alcohol easy permeability through placenta, which affects liver, zinc, amino acids and other substances transportation, RNA synthesis.
For the first time prenatal alcohol syndrome was described by P. Lemoine, who examined children born to mothers-alcoholics. He described and classified the most often occurring disorders associated with the disease. His work was continued by K. L. Jones, who in 1973 described abnormalities, characteristic for children born to mothers who consumed alcohol during pregnancy. The scientists combined results and gave this disorder a name – prenatal alcohol syndrome (PAS), after which representatives of different professions in medicine and related sciences began to study the disease.
When research was conducted in CIS countries, it was found that many women are unaware of dangers that alcohol brings and that’s why some did not exclude it not only during planning period, but even during pregnancy. Besides, there is a mistaken opinion on benefits of small amounts of red wine during carrying a child. Also opinion security beer consumption is wrong, in fact it can cause embryo irreparable harm or even kill it.
Such situation, according to Canadian Health&Care Mall experts, requires active participation of doctors, observing pregnancy, who should tell expectant mothers about what irreparable harm they can cause to their future babies, if they don’t get rid of bad habits.
Physical Abnormalities at PAS
As already mentioned, alcohol can easily penetrate through placental barrier. Then it begins to accumulate in fetal tissues, as organs responsible for toxins neutralization, are still weekly functioning.
Accumulating, this toxin leads to development of not one but several abnormalities both internal and external.
The first PAS characteristic feature is the so-called disembryogenesis stigmas, will be detected at the first examination by pediatrician. Such children may have severe physical defects: «cleft lip» and «cleft palate» or small deviations, such as small skull, small weight and height, broad nasal bridge, unusual shape of ears, short palpebral fissures, flattened groove between thin upper lip and nose. All face structural features are for life, so it is easy to recognize a person suffering from PAS at any age.
Some of these abnormalities could be taken as cosmetic defect, but as a rule, they are not the only ones. Such infants should be sent immediately to thorough examination, as often they have brain and heart abnormalities, visual and hearing impairments. Sometimes these diseases require urgent surgical intervention.
Mental Abnormalities at PAS
Nervous tissue is most sensitive to ethanol, so almost naturally under alcohol influence the brain is damaged. At birth, it is impossible to determine intelligence level, and therefore the problem will be manifesting gradually. In infancy, a baby may retard in psychomotor and speech development, such child is difficult to acquire basic skills. With age situation will become clearer, poor attention, memory, imagination – all these are PAS symptoms.
Children with prenatal alcohol syndrome behavior does not meet generally accepted standards, they differ with unpredictability, have difficulties in communicating with peers and adults, it is often difficult for them to assess consequences of their actions.
As a result of these deviations, a child is not good at school, acquiring profession. In future, there may be serious problems with creating family and bringing up their own children.
Among other things, it is proved that a person, suffering from PAS, is more exposed to alcohol impact and even one-time drinking can lead to irresistible craving for alcohol.
Prenatal Alcohol Syndrome Treatment at Children
PAS treatment will depend on age at which the disease was detected and needs in the particular case. Canadian Health&Care Mall offer general issues for this disease treatment.
After all tests parents should find for their child pediatrician, who has already dealt with such children and, based on this experience, is able to identify all health problems and prescribe treatment as early as possible. You can also contact social service that specializes in emotional and psychological support to children with PAS and their families.
Education and care for children with this syndrome require a lot of endurance and patience. In infancy, they can be very sensitive to light and sound, so it is necessary to create calm, peaceful environment for them. They may have poorly developed sucking reflex, which makes feeding process longer than with healthy baby. Children suffering from prenatal alcohol syndrome require long and hard work with reading, speaking and just often keep them in arms to help him with speaking skills development. In addition, such child needs to communicate with other children.
With child development and maturation treatment will vary, so it needs regular medical examinations, which should detect violations in development and progress from current treatment.
Schoolchildren with this problem need encouragement, their progress monitoring, help with their studies. Often these children have low self-esteem, so they should be praised, encouraged, know the fact that parents love them.
Sometimes children with PAS need special therapy – physical, occupational and logopedic, which should be started as soon as possible. Occupational therapy is necessary to prepare adolescents for their future profession.
Alder teenagers should be taught how to behave in society. If there are serious deviations, teenagers will need constant supervision, both at home and at workplace. Although many of them can still live independently.
People with PAS are more susceptible to depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, drug and alcohol addiction. Therefore, a certain medical treatment or psychological help may be needed in case of mental or behavioral disorders.
If there are problems with eyesight it is necessary to acquire prescription glasses for the child. Babies with congenital defects need to get proper treatment, or they can need surgery.
In case when during treatment there is no progress or there are new worrying signs, please consult a doctor and undertake thorough examination.
Another problem is that such treatment and care can only be provided by a happy family, if parents of a child with PAS abuse alcohol, despite these problems, or completely abandoned their baby, this child is very difficult to adapt to life, there are doubts whether it can live a full life.
Prenatal Alcohol Syndrome Prevention
Every woman, that wants to have a healthy child, should know that drinking alcohol during pregnancy in any amount can affect fetus development, although this risk increases by many times, if a mother suffers from alcoholism. There is no medicine that would protect the fetus from harmful alcohol effects, and these effects are irreversible.
Canadian Health&Care Mall reminds that prenatal alcohol syndrome at children can be avoided only one way – by completely giving up alcohol, not only during pregnancy but also during pregnancy planning period.