Chat for adult and teens

Parents who talk about safe sex with their teens may have a positive impact, even if they're not always sure the message is getting through.

This is especially true for teenage girls who chat with their moms, a new study suggests.

One of Walker's favorite sites for parents, young adults, and teens who want more information on safe sex is Bedsider.org, operated by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy."Try to help them understand how to be as healthy about their sexuality as possible," she said.

DO share your family values"Don't be afraid to pass on what your own beliefs are and imparting what you think is appropriate," said Walker.

Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 account for about half of all new cases of sexually transmitted diseases, and while teen pregnancies have declined significantly, there are still more than 600,000 a year.

"Don't shut down the lines of communication, like saying, 'If you ever do this, then you're out of the house.'" She said if something were to happen - an unplanned pregnancy or a sexual assault - a teen needs to know they could come to a parent and talk with them and get help.

Researchers from North Carolina State University, in Raleigh, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reviewed medical literature including 52 previous articles on the topic that spanned 30 years of research and included more than 25,000 adolescents.

Their analysis found that parent-adolescent communication about sex had a small but significant positive effect on safer sex behavior in teens, increasing their likelihood of using condoms and contraceptives.

But let them make their own decisions about their personal lives, she advises.

DO have ongoing conversations Talking about safe sex isn't a one-time chat, said Walker.

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