A NEW county-wide magazine helping parents to approach the often embarrassing subject of sex and relationships with their children was launched this week.

Talk2YourTeen is designed to help parents discuss with their children issues such as sexual health and contraception in a way that they feel comfortable.

It is hoped by improving the communication between parents and children on such issues, conception rates in under 18 year olds in Hertfordshire will drop dramatically.

The magazine, derived as part of the county's ten-year teenage pregnancy strategy, was developed following a survey of more than 3,200 secondary school pupils in Hertfordshire which revealed that young people prefer to confide in their friends about such issues.

Jane Pitman, cpounty councillor responsible for children's services, said: "Having friends as a main source of information can lead to more permissive attitudes towards sexual activity. That's why the ‘Talk2YourTeen’ campaign has been designed to equip parents and carers with the confidence to be able to talk about sex and relationships with their children and enable them to make their own choices, rather than simply following the crowd.

“Most young people surveyed said they want to talk to their parents about sex and relationships. This new magazine has been designed to give parents tips and information about how to approach emotional and sexual health issues in a way that they feel comfortable with."

The magazine will be distributed through secondary schools and a range of local services including GP surgeries, libraries and extended services.