If you're looking for the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) you have come to the right place. We have some exciting news about our organization. We have a new name! MOFAS has officially been renamed Proof Alliance. Our mission remains the same: to prevent prenatal alcohol exposure and to improve the quality of life for people living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).
We now have the proof that prenatal alcohol exposure is a leading cause of brain injury in children. We have the proof that FASD is 100% preventable and people living with an FASD can reach 100% of their potential.
We seek to build powerful alliances with people with an FASD, their families, legislators, experts in the field, new partners, and community members to bring awareness, research, and services to this field.
Proof Alliance is rebranding, expanding, and we're moving! We have a new logo, website, and prevention campaign to help change the norms around drinking during pregnancy. And in May 2019 we will be moving to a stand-alone building. Proof Alliance commits to the people of Minnesota and we will continue to develop transformative programs to help Minnesotans impacted by FASD.
By: Lisa Friesenhahn
Originally published November 29, 2011
‘Tis the season for flu, cold, strep throat, etc. Not trying to bring bad news, it just is what it is. We are inside more, sharing our gifts, love, and of course germs!
I wish I had a fool proof way of staying healthy this year. As a mom of 6 children, I really need to stay on top of my game, the game of life as it is parenting all these special children. Unfortunately, I have succumb to some of the creepy crud that gets coughed and sneezed my way and I’m already feeling under the weather.
Every time one child gets sick, another one gets sick, then another, then I get sick. So who takes care of me? Me, if I can stop long enough to do it. I forget sometimes that I’m not invincible but I’m often reminded of it when I crash and burn.
Some of the problem is my kids are in my ‘face and space’ sick or not. They have some boundary issues. Another problem is that they forget to wash their hands frequently so when they are constantly surrounded by other kids and germs they are a walking petri dish, collecting germs and ready to multiply them. They get constant reminders and help for handwashing when I’m with them but I can’t be there 24/7.
I’ve read in numerous studies that children affected by prenatal exposure have a higher risk of physical illness. They have weaker immune systems and are more susceptible to illness. So, whether it’s a compromised immune system or bad luck, my children sure seem to be prone to catch many things. It could be based on their immune system or it could be based on their behaviors, probably a combination of both.
We all know how to help prevent illness, I wish it was that easy:
1) Wash hands frequently with soap and water (singing Happy Birthday or ABC song)-often forgotten by my children is the method of actually using soap and/or scrubbing the dirt off, they stand there playing in the water not getting the germs off their hands.
2) Avoid others who are ill-impossible since the school has a revolving door of sick kids, not to mention my children like to be close ex. inside other kid’s bubble/personal space, so that doesn’t help exposure to other germs.
3) Cough or sneeze into your elbow not your hand or into the air-never ending reminding the kids of this one. I often see one of my kiddo’s ready to sneeze and I want to run out of the room yelling, “Look out, she’s gonna blow!” as the sneeze germs travel a 100mph in my direction. Where is your elbow people? Can you please not try to pass your contagion on to the entire household?
4) Eat right-difficult with picky eaters and those with sensory issues with food. Also, with kids who aren’t able to sit long enough to eat their meal, it’s difficult to get a balanced meal in them unless you throw them food as they are running by the table.
5) Get plenty of rest-easier said than done with children who are hyperactive, irritable, and have night terrors. I’m always ready for naps way before they are!
6) Exercise and fresh air daily-hardest in the cold of a Minnesota winter. My children love the outdoors and it’s so good for them to get ‘worn out’ and get fresh air in their lungs. Sometimes it involves some convincing when temps are frigid and wind is blowing like a blizzard out. They also lose their gloves, hats, coats, and boots too. How does that happen? That’s a whole story of a different topic.
7) Ease stress-this way of staying healthy is important but to me somewhat laughable and in my case, unachievable. I think I’d be dead if I wasn’t feeling some amount of stress with my life the way it is at this point. Some of you might be able to relate!!
Well, the goal is to TRY to stay well and when knocked down to get back up and tackle the next bacterium or virus that tries to take you down and out. For both my children’s and my sake, I will work on these above strategies for staying healthy and when all else fails, get the chicken soup out and serve some to the entire family. It IS good for the soul you know…