11-Year-Old With Chlamydia Scares Me for My Kids

swings emptyMy preschool-age children often drive me insane, but there are some things I never have to worry about and for that I am so grateful. I like to think the big things -- sex, drugs, etc. -- are still a few years off my radar. But then I hear stories about an 11-year-old with chlamydia and I am right back to worried again. After all, age 11 is only six years away.

The 11-year-old was treated for chlamydia, according to the Chelsea and Westminster Foundation Trust, which tracked how many kids under 16 have been treated for STDs. There were 1,000 under-16s who were treated for herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea in the past three years. A 12-year-old girl was also treated for herpes between 2009 and 2010.

Lovely. I am going to go ahead and puke now.

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As parents we want to protect our kids from everything in the world, but most of us wouldn't dream that our kids could be sexually active at such a young age. I plan to be very open about sex with my kids someday. But not at 11.

Still, there is some evidence that I am in the wrong and should start those talks much, much earlier. After spending the past weekend with my 12-year-old cousin, I am now much more aware of the things kids that young do. And trust me: it's not playing Barbies.

It's hard to imagine my perfectly innocent babies ever being ready to have sex (or even know what sex is), but more and more kids are experimenting younger. It's my job as a parent to accept this (even though it makes me want to curl into a ball and cry) and be open to it.

I highly doubt my children will be sexually active at 11. But I also don't want those to be famous last words. There is a fine line between giving too much too early and being too late to help. I would like to think that line will become obvious to me if I pay enough attention.

I plan to always know what my kids are up to as much as possible. I will listen when they talk to me and especially when they talk to their friends. An 11-year-old is too young to have sex and I would like to think good parenting can stop them from doing so.

Do you think this is the parents' fault?

 

Image via aka Kath/Flickr

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