Health Department Ramps Up Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
The Orange County Health Department (OCHD) recognizes May as Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, a time to increase public awareness of the need to address the effects of unintended teen pregnancy and continue working to help reduce the rate of teen pregnancy in Orange County.
During the month of May, the OCHD’s Office of Community Health is sponsoring a Teen Pregnancy Prevention Awareness Poster contest for middle and high school students in grades 6-12. This poster contest will help promote teen pregnancy awareness among middle and high school students.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 is the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. During this day teens nationwide are asked to visit StayTeen.org to participate in a number of online activities—including the popular National Day Quiz—that deliver teen pregnancy prevention messages and challenge them to think carefully about what they might do “in the moment.” The message of the National Day is straightforward: Sex has consequences.
“Teen Pregnancy is one of the battles we can win. We are committed to helping teens make informed decisions. The health department provides abstinence and family planning education and services to help improve the future of Florida’s youth”, said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, Director of the Orange County Health Department.
Having a child during the teen years carries high costs—emotional, physical, and financial—to the mother, father, child, and community. Teen births in Florida cost taxpayers a total of $8.1 billion over a 10 year period. Investing in teen pregnancy prevention not only improves the lives of young people, it saves money.
In the United States there are about 733,000 teen pregnancies each year. Three in ten girls becomes pregnant before age 20, and 1 in 4 new Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) infections occurs in teenagers. The good news is that teen pregnancy is 100 percent preventable. Parents, educators, public health and medical professionals, and community organizations all have a role to play in reducing teen pregnancy. There are many things parents and adults can do to reduce the risk of youth becoming pregnant when they are young, such as:
- Develop a strong, close relationship with your children
- Talk to your children early and often about sex, and be specific
- Supervise and monitor your children’s activities
- Know your children’s friends and their families
- Discourage early, frequent, and steady dating
- Help your teenagers to have options for the future
- Let your kids know that you value education highly and let your teen know you value them
- Know what your kids are watching, reading, and listening to
For more information on teen pregnancy prevention and learning communication techniques for talking with your teen, visit www.greattowait.com and www.stayteen.org