Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


RNAO statement on FASD Awareness Day

Each year on Sept. 9, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day is observed.

According to the Canadian FASD Research Network, four per cent of Canadians are living with FASD. It’s a lifelong disability and those who struggle with it and their families deserve support. Nurses play an important role in helping prevent FASD and supporting those living with FASD with health issues that may include poor decision-making, mental health issues and substance use. 

Alcohol is a leading cause of death, disease, and disability across the globe and in Canada. This damage includes the devastating impact of alcohol on the developing brain and other organs of an unborn baby throughout pregnancy. This is why, today, is a day to remind the government that Ontario of the terrible consequences of making alcohol more accessible and more socially acceptable through their alcohol policies. RNAO continues to urge the province to choose evidence-informed alcohol policy to improve health instead of the wrong direction in which they have been heading.

In this context of easier access to alcohol, it is important to remember that no amount of alcohol is safe to consume for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. And because 50 per cent of pregnancies are unplanned, it is critical that women and their partners use birth control if they drink alcohol.

RNAO understands the importance of informing the public about important health issues such as FASD, a public health approach to alcohol policy and the need for an integrated strategy for FASD in Ontario. That’s why nurses passed a resolution to raise awareness about FASD. Learn more about our resolution here.

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