County in top 10 for teen pregnancies
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County is in the top 10 list again for teen pregnancies. According to the most recent data released this year from the Minnesota Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Prevention and Parenting, Kandiyohi County ranks fifth of ...
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County is in the top 10 list again for teen pregnancies.
According to the most recent data released this year from the Minnesota Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Prevention and Parenting, Kandiyohi County ranks fifth of all 87 counties in birth rate for girls in the 15- to 17-year-old age group.
The county ranks 10th in the state for its pregnancy rate for the same age range.
Birth rate includes live births. Pregnancy rate includes the number of live births, fetal deaths and induced abortions.
In the 15- to 19-year-old age bracket, Kandiyohi County ranks ninth for birth rate and pregnancy rate.
"There is a crisis in our county," said Mary Holstad, from the community collaboration known as the Coalition for Healthy Adolescent Sexuality.
The figures are based on a rate of one per 1,000 population and based on 2006 statistics.
Holstad said that in 2006, the state's teen birth rate for 15- to 19-year-olds was 27.9 per 1,000 teens and for Kandiyohi County is was 49.6 per 1,000.
The pregnancy rate for the same group in the county was 55.4 per 1,000.
Holstad told the Kandiyohi County Commissioners this week that, since 1990, adolescent pregnancy and birth rates have decreased significantly in Minnesota, but the rates have increased from 2005 to 2006.
Those teen births come at a cost.
In 2007 in Kandiyohi County, $91,891 a month was spent through the Minnesota Family Investment Program to families that started with a teen birth. MFIP is the state's welfare program for families with young children.
The study also shows grim news for sexually transmitted diseases.
Holstad said that although teens in the 15- to 19-year-old age group make up 7 percent of Minnesota's population, they account for 30 percent of all chlamydia cases and 25 percent of gonorrhea cases reported in the state in 2007.
She said the new coalition, comprised of 17 organizations, is trying to serve as a "catalyst in the community" for creating positive changes in teen health and well-being.
It also provides support and information for parents and serves as an information resource center for professionals, parents and youth regarding teen birth rates, sexually transmitted diseases and sexual practices.
"We have a lot of work to do," Holstad said.
Deb Schmitzerle, another member of the coalition, said parents have a bigger influence on their children than peers or the media and are "best suited" to provide information about sexuality to their children.
For more information about Coalition for Healthy Adolescent Sexuality, call 320-212-1715.