A Minnesota bar wants women to remember to think before they drink. The bar has installed a dispenser with $3 pregnancy tests in the public women's bathrooms in an attempt to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome.
Tom Fredrik, owner of Pub 500 in Mankato, Minn., agreed to make the $3 pregnancy tests available at his bar.
"Strange, yes," Fredrik told Kare11. "But it took about 30 seconds to say yes."
The idea for the dispenser came from Jody Allen Crowe, an expert in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and executive director of Healthy Brains for Children, an organization dedicated to preventing prenatal exposure to alcohol.
The pregnancy tests can be purchased with the simple swipe of a debit card. On the face of the dispenser is a large sign that reads: "Think Before You Drink."
"If it gives you an informed decision at that point in time to stop drinking, your baby is going to be better for it," Crowe told Kare11.
The Think Before You Drink Initiative was launched on July 19, according to the Healthy Brains for Children website.
Pub 500 is the first establishment to feature the $3 pregnancy test dispenser, and some bar patrons are intrigued by the installment.
"It's either a cocktail or a kiddie cocktail from that point on," Pub 500 patron Trish Bordonaro told WQOW.
The addition of the dispenser comes on the heels of a recent report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention which revealed that one in 13 pregnant women drink. Of those women, one in five reported binge drinking while pregnant, according to CBS News. "Binge drinking" equates to consuming four of more drinks in about two hours.
Women between the ages of 35 and 44 were most likely to report alcohol use during pregnancy, the CDC reported.
Although a series of recent studies reported on by Forbes suggest that light drinking during pregnancy may not be harmful, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder can lead to a variety of problems in children.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that drinking during any stage of pregnancy can cause both physical and behavioral problems with learning and remembering; understanding and following directions; controlling emotions; communicating and socializing; and daily life skills, such as feeding and bathing.
"These results indicate that binge drinking during pregnancy continues to be a concern," wrote the CDC researchers, led by Claire M. Marchetta. "Pregnant and nonpregnant women of childbearing age who misuse alcohol might benefit from public health interventions."
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