When it comes to your tween or teen getting their period at school, we always imagine the worst: Them standing up in class with a huge red stain on their pants (yikes!). But in reality, getting their period at school is a minor inconvenience, not a nightmare scenario. There’s no need to sound the alarm bells, and their pants probably aren’t going to be ruined. (The average period only releases 2.7 oz of blood in total, so period stains that soak all the way through the underwear to visibly stain clothing are incredibly rare.)
Here are our best period hacks for managing periods at school.
Know when their period is coming
The easiest way to prepare for their period is to have a sense of when it will be arriving. You can track their period together through an app, though it's best to research their data privacy policies before you download — Stardust and Clue have good policies. You can also track their cycle manually with your phone's calendar or even a printable period tracker.
Wear period underwear
Period underwear you say? Yes, a miracle product that protects your child's clothes from unsightly leaks by absorbing their flow. Kt offers all sorts of period underwear available from full-coverage sleepover shorts to classic bikinis, and even reusable pads. The best part? They're so light and comfortable that your teen doesn't even have to be on their period to wear them. (Shop period kits here.)
Our period undies offer protection for every type of flow — our medium absorbency bikini holds 3 tampons worth of blood and our super absorbency holds the equivalent of 8 tampons — protecting your tween or teen from any horror story scenarios.
They can wear them with a menstrual cup or tampon for extra security on heavy flow days or as backup protection when you're waiting for your menstrual cycle to come.
Check your undies regularly
If they don’t have period underwear, that’s okay. Make sure they're going to the bathroom regularly to check for leaks and to change their menstrual product of choice. Depending on their flow, they should change your pad or tampon approximately every four hours. (Read our handy guide on how to put in a tampon here.) If they use a menstrual cup, they can go up to 10 hours before they need to empty it, which is great for when they have their period at school.
Outfit them with a period emergency kit
Even if you have no idea when your child's period will arrive, it’s going to be fine as long as they're prepared with a period emergency kit on hand. (Our tips on how to build the ultimate period emergency kit can be found here.) Basically, pack some period supplies and comfort products in a makeup bag or our travel bag and have them keep it in their locker or backpack so they have it on hand whenever they need it. This can include an emergency pad or tampon, extra underwear, and self care products. If you want them to be extra prepared, pack a spare t-shirt or extra pair of pants.
Teach them the 'toilet paper hack’
If they don’t have any period products on hand, there’s always the age-old trick that has been used by generations before them: roll up or fold a wad of toilet paper and stick it in your underwear as a makeshift pad. It doesn’t feel amazing, but it’s better than bleeding through their pants. Pro tip: They can wear darker clothes throughout their period to disguise any leaks that might occur.
Give them an emergency contact
Getting their period at school doesn’t have to be scary, but if your teen's period is heavier than usual or they're experiencing period pain beyond the typical menstrual cramps, they might need to call a parent or guardian to bring them some supplies, or come pick them up to go home. It’s important they take care of themselves whatever way they feel best.
If their period is too painful, as in, they think they may need to seek medical attention, let them know to not hesitate to go to the school nurse. (If they're uncomfortable telling their teacher they need to go to the nurse for cramps, they can always say they have a migraine.) For manageable pain, check out our guide to dealing with period cramps at school here.