Alaska will join communities around the world by holding events to raise the awareness of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Sept. 9.
FAS is the leading cause of mental retardation in Alaska.
Symptoms of FAS may include physical abnormalities, developmental delays, learning disabilities and behavioral disorders.
There is no cure for FAS, but it is preventable. FAS occurs only when babies are exposed to alcohol during the nine months of pregnancy before they are born.
FAS Awareness Day is designed to further understanding of the effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol.
Different communities observe the day in different ways, but traditionally the day begins with a ringing of bells at 9:09 a.m. A moment of silence may replace bell ringing this year in honor of the victims of Sept. 11.
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