HSE and Crisis Pregnancy Agency Launch New Resource on Puberty for 5th and 6th Class Children

28th April 2008


What is puberty? Why does it happen? What happens to boys and girls during this time?


A new resource on puberty for adolescents is now available from the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Crisis Pregnancy Agency (CPA) to help parents and teachers nationwide answer these and other important questions in an age appropriate and positive way.


Published by the HSE South's Health Promotion Department and co-funded by the Crisis Pregnancy Agency, the colourful illustrated new guide, 'Busy Bodies, a book about puberty for you and your parents', was launched on Tuesday 29th April 2008. Guest speaker at the launch event was consultant clinical psychologist and author Dr. Tony Humphreys.


The booklet was produced by the HSE working in partnership with the RSE Support Service, the National Parents Council (Primary) and the Crisis Pregnancy Agency. It is available in Irish and English and supports the delivery of the Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE) module within the Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE) school curriculum and is an additional support to the Busy Bodies DVD, which has been in use for a number of years in primary schools nationally.


Busy Bodies provides basic information to young people between the ages of 10 - 14 years on the physical and emotional changes that they may experience during puberty including:


  • - How boys' bodies grow and develop during puberty
  • - How girls' bodies grow and develop, including menstruation
  • - How babies are made
  • - Enjoying growing up
  • - Looking after their bodies including hygiene, healthy eating and getting active.


HSE South Senior Health Promotion Officer, Catherine Byrne says "this booklet is not only a source of information for the young people themselves but it is also a very useful tool which parents can use when communicating with their children about what can sometimes be a difficult or embarrassing topic. This booklet offers a unique blend of factual and supportive information with a text which was specifically adapted from the DVD by well known children's author Siobhan Parkinson in order to ensure that the information is age appropriate and presented in a child friendly manner".


Enda Saul, Programmes and Communications Manager with the Crisis Pregnancy Agency said: "I hope that the Busy Bodies booklet will build on the success of the Busy Bodies DVD in primary schools. The booklet has also been designed with parents in mind; our research shows that when parents talk to their children about sex and relationships it can have a positive effect on their later sexual health. Parents who want to begin talking to their children about physical, emotional and sexual development will find the Busy Bodies booklet useful, as it presents all of the relevant information in an age-appropriate way."


Ms Elizabeth Mc Kennedy, Deputy Principal and sixth class teacher at the Cork School Project where the original drafts were reviewed and feedback provided to the authors, said "this new booklet will be a great support for our teachers when informing 5th and 6th class children about the physical and emotional changes of puberty. It complements the information on the Busy Bodies DVD, is colourful, well illustrated and age appropriate. Teachers can also refer parents to the booklet so that they can use it with their children at home."


Copies of the booklet are available free of charge to schools and can be ordered from your local Health Promotion Department; contact details of local HSE Health Promotion Departments are available by calling the HSE Information Line on Tel: 1850 24 1850.


Parents can order a copy of the Busy Bodies booklet by freetexting BUSY followed by their name and address to 50123.

You can download this booklet from the www.sexualwellbeing.ie here


Last updated on: 28 / 04 / 2008