September 9, 2013 – Sometimes children enter a child-care
system, such as an orphanage or foster care, because of unfavourable circumstances,
including maternal substance abuse problems or child neglect. According to a
study in the October 2013 issue of the journal Pediatrics, 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, CAMH Senior
Scientist Dr. Lana Popova and colleagues looked at the research 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 was alarmingly high. The authors recommend
that screening for FASD be implemented in these at-risk groups of children.
Visit the journal website.