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Children Housed in Care Systems are at High Risk for Problems Related to Mother's Prenatal Alcohol Use

9/9/2013 For Release: September 9, 2013

​​​​​​​​​​Sometimes children enter a child care system (such as an orphanage or foster care) because of unfavorable circumstances including maternal substance abuse problems or child neglect. According to a study in the October 2013 Pediatrics, “Prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Child Care Settings,” (published online Sept. 9), children and youth housed in various child care systems are at higher risk for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). These disorders include an array of developmental, cognitive, behavioral and physical effects. In this meta-analysis, the authors looked at literature reporting on the prevalence of FASD in all types of child care systems in eight countries. The rates of FASD varied widely depending on the type of child care setting, but overall the prevalence is alarmingly high. The authors recommend that screening for FASD be implemented in these at-risk groups of children.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.


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