Keep Your Child Out of Harmís Way
© 2004 Teresa Kellerman www.fasstar.com
There is a great organization called the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Their alcohol awareness web site is here http://cspinet.org/booze. The CSPI folks have created a web site with a collection of articles and reports about the effects of beer advertising on our youth. http://www.beersoaksamerica.org/harms.htm I suggest you check out both of these sites.
On this web page they list the various problems that are caused by alcohol consumption:
high gonorrhea rates
incidents of crime and violence
sexual assaults and rape
low graduation rates and school failures
traffic crashes and fatalities
low employment productivity
liver cirrhosis and other diseases
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects
I was pleased that they included FAS and FAE in their list. I also let them know that Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are associated with most of our major social ills, the very items on their list, and I included sexual promiscuity, unplanned pregnancies, homelessness, and accidental injury, and added one more Ė the next generation of children with FASD.
We all agree that our youth are vulnerable to advertisements. Those of us who care for children, teens and young adults with FASD know that our children are particularly vulnerable to the influence of advertising. Our children are naÔve, impulsive, and have poor judgment, and these characteristics are what put our children at high risk of those serious problems listed above. Providing them with good role modeling and adequate supervision becomes more and more difficult as they get to their teen years. The alcohol advertising to which they are continually subjected on TV, billboards and magazines place them in harmís way.
Please be aware of the powerful influence these advertisements have on our children. It is crucial that you counteract this pressure with consistent and meaningful efforts on your part, which include the following:
Careful monitoring of your childís activity in and out of the home
Vigilant control of exposure to unhealthy influences in the environment
Healthy role modeling by everyone in your childís life, especially you
In my opinion, based on my experience and that of other caring families, the last is the most important. Of all the families for whom I have provided consultation and education on FASD and prevention of secondary disabilities, those who have had the most success are those who have been willing to heed this advice and carry through consistently with a solid commitment of modeling healthy behavior.
FAS Community Resource Center