Are you the parent of a child who has started or may soon start their menstrual cycle? Educating yourself and your child with the following tips on using tampons can put your fears to ease, and they can also help you to decide whether or not tampons are a good choice for your child. 

Initial use

Choose a slender tampon with a plastic applicator for females who have a light flow menstrual cycle or those who have recently started their cycles. Keep in mind that you may need to buy your child medium or heavy flow tampons if their menstrual cycle flow changes. For example, some girls have a light flow cycle initially, but it may get heavier as they mature. Some females also start a menstrual cycle bleeding heavily, but their flow gradually lightens towards the end of their cycles.

Tampons should not feel uncomfortable when inserted. If your child experiences discomfort, try a different brand or the same brand with a different absorbency. Some schools offer classes to children who are at or approaching puberty age. They may give out free tampon samples. A pediatrician, like those found at sites like, is also a good resource to use if your child encounters issues with comfort.

Tampons that are inserted improperly could result in leakage, which could stain clothing and be an embarrassment. You can reduce the chances of this occurring by ensuring that your child wears a sanitary napkin or pantiliner as a means of secondary protection.

Sanitary and Safe Use

Encourage your child to wash their hands before and after using a tampon. This practice may reduce the spread of bloodborne pathogens and other microorganisms. 

Your child will likely have a preference for sanitary napkins or tampons. Be supportive of their decision, but ensure that you educate them about toxic shock syndrome, which is a Streptococcus strain illness that has been linked to prolonged use of tampons. 

Wearing a tampon and then alternating to a sanitary napkin may reduce the chances of your child acquiring TSS. You can also encourage them to refrain from using tampons at night or during extended nap times. 

If your child decides to use tampons during sports activities or practice, ensure they understand the importance of changing their tampons at the correct intervals. It is also important that they know to use the lowest absorbency type of tampon based upon their menstrual cycle flow, which will aid in reducing the chances of them acquiring TSS. For example, if your child has an all-day tournament scheduled, and they are bleeding lightly, it is best to change out light flow tampons every 4 hours than opting for changing a super absorbency tampon every 8 hours.