Many preteens and teens are afraid of leaks or stains on their clothing. Here are a few different things you can do:
First, reassure them that their fears and concerns are valid but temporary. They will soon be an expert on their body and what is needed to successfully tackle their period each month. They will get used to how often they need to change their pad or tampon. Remind them that if they are not sure, they can always go to the bathroom to check. If their pad or liner feels heavy, wet, or damp it’s probably time to change it. They can check if it’s time to change their tampon by gently pulling on the string. If it starts to come out easily, that means it’s time for a new one.
When your preteen or teen is using a tampon or menstrual cup, they can add a liner, pad, or period underwear as a backup to catch any leaks. They can wear dark clothing on their bottom half or tie a top or jacket around their waist. If your preteen or teen is really nervous about staining their clothing, suggest that they keep an extra change of clothes in their backpack or locker. And remind them that, if they do stain their pants one day, this has probably happened to everyone who has a period. They have half the world in their corner!
If your preteen or teen is out and stains their underwear but not the rest of their clothing, they can simply change their pad or tampon and then wash their underwear when they get home. A wash in the bathroom sink with some cold water and soap, or putting a small amount of hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain, usually gets most of the blood out. Then they can throw them in the washing machine. Let your preteen or teen know they can always come to you for help if this happens!
If they have specific sensory or motor needs, check with their physician, school nurse, or OT to help identify what products might be best. Some preteens or teens choose to wear disposable gloves if they are initially nervous handling their own hygiene products, others may need support specific to their motor needs and on how to be as independent as possible.
BLOOM offers a wide variety of period products for all menstruators in the BLOOM Store.