Botting B, Rosato M, Wood R. Teenage mothers and the health of their children. Population Trends 1998; 93 (Autumn): 19-28

Teenage mothers continue to present challenges to social policy and remain of topical interest to the media. This article discusses trends in teenage conception rates, their outcomes and long term consequences. In 1996, 7 per cent of all births were to girls aged under 20. On average children born to teenage girls have lower birthweights, increased risk of infant mortality and an increased risk of some congenital anomalies. They are less likely to be breastfed and more likely to live in deprived circumstances. These factors in turn influence their health and long term opportunities.