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Friday, August 20, 1999

Belles joins U.S. Army

Army Pvt. Kendall M. Belles has entered basic military training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

During the eight weeks of training, the soldier will study the Army mission and will receive instruction in drill and ceremonies, weapons, map reading, tactics, military courtesy, military justice, physical fitness, first aid, Army history and traditions, and special training in human relations.

Belles is the son of Mary S. and Kendall L. Belles of Pecos.

He is a 1999 graduate of Pecos High School.

Boosters meeting set

The Pecos Eagle Athletic Boosters will meet at 7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 23, at the Pecos High School Cafeteria for a business meeting.

New members are encouraged to join the group and support the Pecos Eagles.

Binge drinking can lead to syndrome

Binge drinking in the early weeks of pregnancy can cause serious problems for the developing child.

"A lot of damage can be done early in the pregnancy, sometimes before you even know you are pregnant," said Dr. Sherry Sellers, an assistant professor of developmental pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Binge drinking is defined as consuming five or more alcoholic drinks for men and four drinks for women in one sitting. Recent studies have pointed to an increasing number of binge drinkers among college students.

"The worst situations are those who get drunk every weekend. We don't know how much is too much, but some studies show that as little as two ounces of alcohol a day could hurt the baby," she said.

Brain cell formation and multiplication peaks between the eighth and sixteenth weeks of pregnancy.

"A lot of times women don't find out until they're six weeks pregnant," she said. "Most say they would never drink if they knew they were pregnant, but sometimes by the time they realize it, the damage has been done."

Alcohol consumption in pregnancy can result in fetal alcohol syndrome, the leading known cause of mental retardation in newborns. As many as 12,000 infants are born with this condition each year, the American Academy of Pediatrics has reported.

Symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome are growth retardation in weight, height and head circumference; facial abnormalities, such as a thin upper lip, flat cheeks and a flat nasal bridge; and mental retardation, Sellers said.

"You have to have all three for it to be called fetal alcohol syndrome, but you can have fetal alcohol effects without having the full-blown syndrome," she said.

Once the damage to the developing fetus has been done, it can't be erased.

"The best advice is if you're sexually active, watch the drinking. There's no place in pregnancy where it's okay to drink alcohol, but we know binge drinking early on is the worst thing," Sellers said.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.

324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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Copyright 1999 by Pecos Enterprise