In , a total of , babies were born to women aged 15—19 years, for a birth rate of This is another record low for U. Although reasons for the declines are not totally clear, evidence suggests these declines are due to more teens abstaining from sexual activity, and more teens who are sexually active using birth control than in previous years. Still, the U. Teen birth rates declined from to for most racial groups and for Hispanics.
Evelyn M. Kappeler is Director of the U. The contents, findings, and views contained in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official programs and policies of the Office of Adolescent Health, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, or the Department of Health and Human Services. One out of every eight people living in the United States today about 42 million people is a teenager. But too many teenagers still face preventable behavioral and mental health problems, substance abuse, injuries, violence, obesity, and other challenges. For example, the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System survey concluded in that many high school students are still engaging in sexual risk behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, including human immunodeficiency virus infection. About half of all high school students have had sexual intercourse during their lives.
Researchers identified nearly common medical practices and theories that were contradicted by rigorous studies. Here are some of the most notable findings. Students around the country take home the infant simulators, with little evidence that they reduce pregnancy. What is it like to come of age in the borderlands?
For girls who find themselves dealing with the challenges of pregnancy, pediatricians and parents can be guideposts of knowledge, resources, and support. These options usually include having and raising the baby, making plans for relatives or an adoptive family to raise the baby, or terminating the pregnancy. Most teenagers who become pregnant decide to continue the pregnancy. It's important to connect them with early prenatal care and to encourage a healthy lifestyle—a well-balanced diet, daily exercise, and staying away from tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. If the teen decides to have and raise the baby, she may need help identifying a strong support system.