Survey: Kentucky parents stay quiet about birth control

mmeehan@herald-leader.comDecember 27, 2012 

Kentucky parents share plenty of information with their kids about tobacco and drug use but tend to stay mum when it comes to birth control.

Those are the results of the Kentucky Parents Survey, released Thursday by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

Foundation president Susan Zepeda said studies have shown that parents have great influence when it comes to their children's decisions about health and risky behavior.

So, she said, it's important to "talk to your children about your views on dating and substance use and maintaining a healthy lifestyle."

The foundation, a non-profit focused on unmet health needs in Kentucky, interviewed more than 1,000 parents and guardians of children younger than 18 from throughout the state.

Here are some other survey results.

■ 53 percent of parents talk often with their child about smoking or tobacco use.

■ 62 percent discussed drug use with their older children in the past year.

■ 21 percent frequently discussed birth control with their child.

■ 48 percent ate meals together as a family every day.

■ 80 percent of parents said they spent at least 20 minutes talking to their child each day the week prior to the survey.

■ 54 percent reported watching television with their child each day in the week before the survey.

Zepeda said only about a third of parents engaged in physical activity with their kids on a regular basis, something that could be improved upon in 2013.

"Perhaps we should all resolve to be more physically active with our kids and have a little more fun," she said.

This is the fourth release of information from the survey's findings. Previous reports have dealt with school health, childhood obesity and access to health care. A report in January will deal with school drop-outs.

To see previous reports or to learn more about the foundation, visit Healthy-ky.org.

Mary Meehan: (859) 231-3261. Twitter: @bgmoms. Blog: BluegrassMoms.com.

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