By: Katie Russell
3 in 10 teen American girls will get pregnant at least once before age 20.
That’s nearly 750,000 teen pregnancies every year. About 25% of teen moms have a 2nd child within 24 months of their first baby.
The United States has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the western industrialized world.
1 in 4 teens contracts an STD/STI every year.
These shocking statistics are partially caused by teenagers not taking advantage of the resources available at their local health department.
The Transylvania County Health Department offers many resources to students and young adults, such as immunizations, STD testing, pregnancy testing, and family planning. Family planning means discussing the right birth control options for a person based on their lifestyle. Immunizations include, Influenza, Meningitis, as well as HPV.
Most teenagers in Transylvania County feel like there is a taboo surrounding going to the Health Department. People are afraid of running into someone they know and may be embarrassed about their behavior. Many students also do not take Health Class seriously enough, and don’t know the information needed if they begin making adult decisions. It is important to be as informed as possible, as well as safe as possible to prevent teen pregnancy, as well as the spread of STDs.
“If a person starts making choices to participate in risky behaviors, they need to make sure they are protecting themselves against sexually transmitted diseases and the consequences of teen pregnancy,” said April Owenby.
The Health Department is open Monday-Thursday 8:30am-5:00pm with a break for lunch at 12;00pm-1:00pm. Friday 8:30-5:00pm. And it is closed on the weekends. It is located on 98 East Morgan Street, Brevard, NC. (Link at the bottom of the article) For any other questions, contact the School Health, April Owenby.