Maybe the most satisfying thing about providing continuity pediatric care to children is watching them navigate the different transitions necessary for successful passage to adulthood. Arriving on the shores of puberty can be especially freaky-deaky for boys and girls. Pediatric nurse practitioner Lori Carlson wants you to share this post on the excellent Life+Wellness blog with your preteen daughter:

You’ve had your puberty class and learned about how your body is going to change. Now that the class is behind you, you simply have to wait for the changes to happen as every girl’s body is on its own timeline. While you’re waiting I bet you’re a little worried about what your first period will be like.


“Worried” may be putting it mildly:

Every girl worries a little! She fears it will happen while she is at school or with her friends. Worries she won’t know it happened and will have a red stain on her clothes. Is afraid it’ll hurt or gush out. The good news is that it will not be painful when the blood comes out, it won’t gush, it’ll probably happen overnight and you’ll discover it first thing in the morning, it’ll flow so slowly you won’t have a stain on your clothes that others will see. But even with these worries aside there are some important factors to consider as your first period approaches.


Whether they choose to use sanitary pads or tampons, Carlson wants young girls to be educated on the details of proper hygiene:

No matter the method that you choose it will be important to always maintain good hygiene. Bacteria are more likely to grow in a pad or tampon that is soaked with blood. Toxic Shock Syndrome is a rare infection that can occur when tampons are not changed every 4-6 hours. High fever, diarrhea, muscle aches, extreme weakness and rash could occur. Although this is a rare condition it is important to always maintain good hygiene to prevent any problems. If you are accustomed to sleeping through the night it is best to use a pad instead of a tampon.


Carlson concludes with a pep talk:

Embrace your transition into womanhood. It may seem difficult and a little frightening at first but in no time you will be great at managing your body. You are a beautiful young girl who is becoming an amazing woman.


Read the rest this article by Lori Carlson, CRNP here and share it with your daughter.