Fewer teens becoming parents

Filed under: Just For Moms, Teens, Just For Dads, Your Pregnancy, Health & Safety: Babies, Development/Milestones: Babies, Media

How are America's kids doing? According to National Center for Health Statistics, they are doing very well, thank you. Fewer teens are having sex and those who are doing it, are using condoms. As a result, the teen birthrate is lower than it has ever been.

In 1991, the birthrate was at 39 births for every 1,000 women ages 15 to 17. In 2005, that number was down to 21. For girls ages 17-19, the birthrate is higher, but still lower than in the 1990's.

Education campaigns begun years ago are being credited for the lower numbers. "I think the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the efforts in the '80s and '90s had a lot to do with that," says James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth. "We need to encourage young teens to delay sexual initiation and we need to make sure they get all the information they need about condoms and birth control," he said.

In the new report, compiled from statistics and studies gathered from 22 different federal agencies, researchers identified several other areas in which America's children are doing well. More children are being read to daily by a family member, more have at least one parent working full time and more are completing high school.

It's not all good news, though. The report finds that slightly fewer children are covered by health insurance and the percentage of low birth weight infants has increased as well.

The entire report, which was released by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, and can be found here.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.