I came across an article today about an outbreak of syphilis in youth living in Oklahoma. 13 cases of syphilis have been confirmed to be linked this year, 10 of which were discovered in the past month. In light of the fact that April is STD awareness month, I thought I would post it, along with a few thoughts. Take a look at it here.
Oklahoma may seem far away, but it caused me to pause and wonder if the same thing could happen again, here in Dupage County. I say again because less than 5 years ago, an STD outbreak happened at a local school. Within days, over 8 cases of the same STD were diagnosed in a group of high school students. The cause then was the same as the cause listed in this article – a sex game played at a party.
Parents, while we can be certain that not all our teenagers are spending their time at parties in which sex games are played (I know I never did, and I can think of several teens I know now that avoid that scene), it can make us stop and think: What can we do to protect our kids?
A simple answer – be the house that hosts the parties. Be a welcoming place. If you are worried about the supervision in other homes, be the one willing to have the teens over, hanging out in your basement. Greet them at the door when they come in. Then, instead of shutting the door on them and trying to shut out the noise, check on them once in a while. Go downstairs with a plate of snacks or a carton of soda. Wander down to drop something off in the basement or ask your own son or daughter a question. The occasional and unexpected disruption will keep the teens on their toes.
Explain to him or her that you want to keep tabs on things because you are responsible for a bunch of teens that aren’t your own. You want to be sure they are safe, healthy, and behaving responsibly, because you don’t want any complaints from their parents. A teen who is living responsibly should understand your concern. A teen who raises objections might need more direction. If he or she objects and says they don’t want parties in the house, ask them why they’d rather be at a friend’s home. And then discuss what sort of rules and expectations can be made to ensure they are behaving responsibly.
Click on this link to find out more information about syphilis. http://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/STDFact-Syphilis.htm