STDs On The Increase Among Children. Who's To Blame?

28/07/2009 14:11 | Updated 22 May 2015

The number of sexually transmitted infections among children in England has shot up, according to Government figures.

There were nearly 4,000 under-16s diagnosed with STIs in England in 2007, compared with under 2,500 in 2003.

The largest increase was in cases of chlamydia, which rose by 90 and genital warts by a third.

The figures were released in response to a question from Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb.

He's blamed the problem on cuts in public health spending – and he might have a point.

But surely parents have got to take responsibility as well?

Mr Lamb says: "The number of youngsters contacting STIs is very disturbing. Children must be informed about the risks involved in sexual relationships and taught how to be safe.

"The Government has slashed public health spending over recent years. This short-sightedness is putting a whole generation at risk of a sexual health crisis."

Now, my daughter is only a baby and STIs are the last thing I want to be thinking about. But I hope when she gets older I'll have the guts to talk to her about embarrassing things like this. I won't be relying on anyone else, even if public health spending is ever increased.

I think too many parents abdicate responsibility and leave it up to the schools or the health professionals. Then they complain when their kids are given contraception without them knowing about it.

Of course, it's easier said than done. Check back with me when my daughter's an obnoxious teenager and see how well I'm getting on...

I'd like to hear your experiences of dealing with the issue of sex education for your teenagers. Have you talked to them about this or do you think it's the school's responsibility?

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