WHAT IS FOETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME? FAS is found in children whose mothers used alcohol during the pregnancy. The syndrome is characterised by a series of symp-toms such as brain damage and stunted growth. The damage is permanent, but can be prevented. When a pregnant woman uses alcohol, it is taken up into her bloodstream. The alcohol reaches the womb within 20 minutes and is toxic to the baby’s cells. The baby’s organs can be per-manently damaged by the alcohol and the developing brain is especially vulnerable. Most children diagnosed with FAS have a mild to serious degree of brain damage. Where healthy children have an average IQ of 100, a child with FAS has an IQ of between 65 and 75.