It was not quite ten years ago that Toxic Shock Syndrome was first connected with tampon use. In the years since, fear and uncertainty about tampon use have lingered. Can your daughter safely use tampons today?
Unless she has already had Toxic Shock Syndrome, she can use tampons safely with these guidelines:
1. Be aware of the symptoms of toxic shock syndrome. Symptoms include a sudden high fever, vomiting and diarrhea, headache, dizziness, sore throat, muscle aches and a sunburn-like rash.
2. Use tampons with the lowest possible absorbency. Stay away from super absorbent tampons and change them frequently, at least every four hours.
3. Try using tampons during the day and pads at night.
4. Avoid use of tampons with plastic insertion tubes.
Finally, Toxic Shock was, and is, a rare disease. But these precautions can further safeguard your daughter’s health.
Dr. Wibbelsman, M.D., is an award-winning author and former “Dear Doctor” columnist for Teen magazine. Chair of Adolescent Medicine for the Permanente Medical Group, Northern California, he is chief of the Teen-Age Clinic at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Francisco, and an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco Medical School. Dr. Wibbelsman is the news anchor for a Bay Area television series, “Medicine in the Nineties”.