TEENAGERS in Solihull are ignoring warnings about under-age sex - leading to an increase in unplanned pregnancies.
Figures released by the Office of National Statistics show that teenage pregnancy rates among under-18s rose by 800 within 12 months in England, while the under-18 conception rate in Solihull rose from 32.8 per 1,000 in 2006 to 40.2 per 1,000 the following year - a 22.5 per cent increase.
This, despite the implementation of the Government’s Teenage Pregnancy Strategy which aims to halve the under-18 conception rate by 2010, and establish a reduction in the under-16 rate. The initiative also aims to increase the number of teenage parents in education, training or employment to 60 per cent by 2010.
All local areas have a 10-year strategy in place.
Solihull Council and Solihull NHS Care Trust said: “Partners remain confident that the innovative joint strategy between Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and Solihull NHS Care Trust to reduce under-18 conceptions locally is right.
“The strategy focuses on working in partnership with a wide range of partners to enable young people to gain the knowledge and skills they need to wait until they are ready to have sex, as well as providing information on relationships and sexual health so they can make healthy and informed choices when they become sexually active.
“Parents and carers have a vital role to play in an area where they themselves may not feel confident or comfortable.
“A leaflet ‘Talking to your teenager about sex and relationships’ will be distributed in Solihull through independent pharmacies and the pharmacies of all Morrissons stores in March. The leaflet will offer parents/carers tips on how to talk more easily with their children about sex and relationships.
“This comes on the back of evidence that shows that when parents talk to their children about sex and relationships, they are more likely to have sex later and to use contraception when they do start having sex.”
Across the region there was an increase overall of teenage pregnancies, slightly above the 2007 figure of 1.7 per cent.