11/18/04 — Health Department plans teen Web site

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Health Department plans teen Web site

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 18, 2004 2:00 PM

A Web site for and about Wayne County teens is being studied by the county Board of Health, with hopes to launch it publicly soon.

Carolyn King, health education supervisor, said the Health Department staff has been developing the idea and content for the site.

She said it will be geared to subjects of interest to adolescents. Among the topics will be self-esteem, positive body image, dental health, tattooing and piercing, alcohol and drugs, information about family planning, and abstinence.

"We're trying to tell teens why we think abstinence is the best choice," she said.

But she said that for many teens, sexual activity is still a choice they face.

Health Director James Roosen said the original intent for the Web site was to provide information about family planning services the Health Department provides.

"The more we thought about it, we realized that's really not what kids need," he said. So the wider range of topics was added.

Parents will also be encouraged to visit the Web site. There will be a special parents' section, encouraging them to be involved in the life of their children, and youths will likewise be given tips on how to talk with their parents.

The board will study the site's content and at a future meeting will discuss questions and suggestions.

Another step will be to enlist input from the community.

Board Chairman Terry Frazer said that in addition to teens, parents and other residents should be invited to participate in the discussion about what is included in the site.

Chris Cowan, Web master for the Health Department and instrumental in compiling the site's information and format, said the only cost to the department would be $35 a year to register its domain name.